Lake Wales Little League Opening Weekend
By Allison Williams
Saturday was opening day for the Lake Wales Little League teams. With the sun shining, it was a beautiful, February morning to kick off the little league season.
Pat Henry, Vice President of Baseball is very involved with the league. Lake Wales Little League has been operating for 65 years and he shared that this year, there are approximately 50 teams and 600 players.
- Challenger division
- T-ball division
- Coach pitch division
- Pitching machine division
- Major division
- Minor division
- Senior division
- Softball division
The games take place next to Lake Wailes at 300 N Lakeshore Blvd in Lake Wales. There is a softball complex along with four baseball fields and a league is designated to each field. T-ball, coach pitch and challenger divisions play on Saturdays at each of the fields. Everybody else plays Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings at the baseball and softball fields.
Saturday games start at Barranco Field around 9:00 a.m. Barranco Field was named after Barranco Clinic in Lake Wales years ago. Weeknight games begin at 6:00 p.m.
Throughout the day, there were more than 50 raffle baskets set up. Tickets were $1 and people placed their tickets into whichever basket drawing they wanted to win. There were prizes for all ages. Prizes ranged from cash and lottery tickets to a Lowes outdoor furniture set to Fortnite prizes and much more. Each team donated a raffle basket. For some, parents chipped in to fill baskets, while others received donations from local businesses. Henry said this year they raised $6,000 with the raffle giveaways.
The money raised will go toward operation of the league. Lake Wales Little League relies on volunteers, donations and concessions to run.
“We have few volunteers doing a lot of time and a lot of effort,” Henry said. “We are always looking for volunteers. We want to help raise these kids to become better community members.”
To get in touch with Lake Wales Little League, they ask that you send them a message on Facebook with questions, concerns or to get involved.
“We are completely driven on volunteers,” Henry said. “The Board is all volunteers and coaches are volunteering a lot of their time. Little League is actually the largest children’s youth sports activity in the whole world.”
|Michelle Maggard||VP Operations|
|Nick Mundy||VP T-ball / Coach Pitch|
|Pat Henry||VP Mini / Senior Baseball|
|Maya Torres||VP Minor / Major Baseball|
|Cristy Land||VP Mini / Major Softball|
|Alicia Bird||VP Minor / Senior Softball|
|Mike Heibel||VP Challenger Baseball|
|Ricky Britt||Safety Officer|
|Sam Baerhold||Equipment Manager|
|Robert Fletcher||Board Member|