Letters to the Editor (Aug.14 2008)

Letters to the Editor
Aug. 14, 2008

All-Star welcome

I would like to congratulate Williston Little League’s 2008 State Championship Team: Manager Will Mikell, Coach Jeff Smith, Davis Mikell, Erik Bergkvist, Tommy Fitzgerald, Hayden Smith, Ryan Schneiderman, Brendan Gannon, Connor Stankevich, Peter Scrimgeour, Jeffrey Martin, Max Whitcomb, Jamie Pierson and Chris Reiss.

The 2008 season, an amazing ride that started back in April, will never be forgotten by the 12 players and their families. The boys represented Williston and Vermont with pride, class, sportsmanship and baseball ability.

Many thanks to the families who transported the boys to and from every event. It is hard to believe that 12 boys from a little town with a population around 8,100 can produce such talented and determined young men. These boys clinched the state championship in Brattleboro two weeks ago, and represented Vermont in the New England Regional Little League Championship in Bristol, Conn. They went 2-3, coming only two wins away from Williamsport, Pa. to vie for the 2008 Little League International Title.

Thank you to the many volunteers who have been working to defray costs that 12 families didn’t expect to incur. A special thanks to Joel Klein, who created a video on the town of Williston, a requirement from Little League International; we hope to have a public viewing at some point. A special thank you to the Town of Williston for the police escort, the town employees and summer camp staff and kids who welcomed home our “boys of summer.”

Please join us for a formal welcome home, Thursday, Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. at the entrance to Williston Community Park. This is a potluck, so bring a dish to share. Williston Little League will cook burgers and dogs. Contact Chris Geffken at chris.geffken@ge.com or 879-0489 to contribute. To help recoup some of the travel costs incurred by the 12 Little League families, there will be a donation bucket. You can also mail a check to Gene McCue at 111 Chamberlin Lane or donate online at www.eteamz.active.com/wllbaseball/ (click on the “Donate Now” link on the left side of the page).

Tim O’Brien
On behalf of the Williston Little League Board



Well wishes from ‘Uncle’ Ron

I assume the residents of Williston are buzzing and proud of the Williston Little League All-Stars and their great success. Winning a state championship, especially from a small town league, is quite an accomplishment. Battling through the round robin and reaching the semifinals is like David taking the field against Goliath. It took the eventual regional winners to send your boys home. Those pesky — or should we say gutsy — Williston boys!

However, I’m not writing about winning ball games. I’m writing to talk about 12 young men who represented their parents, schools, churches and community in exemplary manner.

The New England Regional Tournament is staffed by a multitude of volunteers. I was assigned as team “uncle” for the Vermont champions. The “uncle” is a host, guide and extra set of hands, eyes and ears. Where the team goes, the uncle goes, rise and shine to bedtime.

The Vermont champions, your Williston boys, were great! There was no bickering, moods, attitudes, complaining or conflicts. They were always cooperative, saying “please” and “thank you” to all the volunteers. They mixed easily with teams from other states.

“What?!” you say. “Are these boys normal?”

Yes, I assure you they are. But always with respect and within the guidelines. One of my duties was to make them feel at home and comfortable. Instead they made me feel at home and part of the team. What nice young men they are. I congratulate their parents and you, the community.

Much credit must go to the coaches, Will Mikell and Jeff Smith, for positive coaching while letting the boys enjoy the entire experience. Credit must also go to the parents, who supported the boys with love and encouragement without pressure or unending expectations.

Finally, I want to say to Erik Bergkvist, Tommy Fitzgerald, Brendan Gannon, Jeffrey Martin, Davis Mikell, Jamie Pierson, Chris Riess, Ryan Schneiderman, Peter Scrimgeour, Hayden Smith, Connor Stankevich and Max Whitcomb that it has been a pleasure to know you. You are, without exaggeration or exception, simply stated, good boys. Thank you for being who you are and what you do.

“Uncle” Ron Russo
Watertown, Conn.