Record turnout for Little League opener


Last updated 4/9/2024 at 10:11am

Photo by Kelli Carter, RISE Graphic Design

Sisters Little League celebrated opening day on Saturday.

"Thankfully, it wasn't snowing."

Kim Davis summed up – with context – the 2024 Sisters Little League Opening Ceremonies.

The league president has been to nearly 30 of them. Last year, there was snow. Such is Sisters in local Little League lore: cold, especially in April, and also in May.

Temperatures on Saturday started below freezing, and felt frigid all morning with wind chill.

While hundreds of parents huddled in the stands at the stadium field behind Sisters Community Church, their children ran, wrestled, and eventually settled (somewhat) with their new teams.

Through the fence, they watched Sisters Mayor Michael Preedin throw out the first baseball and softball pitches, then listened for their new coaches to announce their names.

Players ran in one by one from the third-base side, high-fiving the softball players greeting them at third and at home plate before dashing to the outfield to line up for a group photo.

August Eakin, age 4, wore a smile that peeked out from behind his layers: an undershirt, sweatshirt, jacket, and brand-new Little League jersey and hat. He's been working on his tee-ball swing.

"Actually, I do practice with a stick at home," he said of his budding skills with a baseball. "I keep tossing it to Daddy and he throws it back to me with the stick."

Asked her favorite part of the day, August's 4-year-old cousin inadvertently sparked a wee "rhubarb," in baseball parlance.

"I can run superfast," said Millie Durtschi, of the Ridgeline Electric team of 4- and 5-year-olds. August wouldn't let that one slide: "Well, guess what? I'm faster."

The two will learn about teamwork this spring in our small city's largest-ever Little League family.

"Sisters Little League is looking forward to a great season," said SLL Vice President of Baseball Greg Barkley. "We have a record number of players and 24 teams across our baseball and softball divisions this year."

"We have 270 kids playing this year, which is super exciting," Davis said. "Two Minor softball teams, one Major, and one Junior team. We have 11 eighth-graders that will be moving up next year to high school for softball, which is a big deal for us."

"We've done a lot of work at the fields and would like to thank Sisters Fence Company, Sisters Rental, Hoyt's Hardware, and Ace Hardware for their generous support," Barkley said. "We'd also like to thank all of our sponsors and our coaches who have stepped up to lead teams this year. We can't do it without their support. Please support us for our May 18 Hit-A-Thon fundraiser!"

"We keep getting bigger," Davis added. "I think opening ceremonies went really well. We're seeing bigger and bigger turnouts for it. From here on out, we start our season."


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