Despite all the craziness of 2020, Newington’s boys of summer were able to complete a little league season on the diamond earlier this month and will keep playing his fall.
The Dodgers ended up winning the 2020 Newington Little League Summer Championship on August 15th at Volunteer Field in Newington, giving hope that other sports leagues and high school sports can follow suit with seasons of their own in the fall and beyond.
Chris James, who is on the Executive Board and the VP of Baseball for NLL, wrote this about the summer season that went from mid-June until mid-August.
“Just a few short months ago, Newington’s Little League players were eagerly waiting to see if there would be ANY baseball in 2020. They trained all winter… then they practiced alone or socially distant during the spring; hoping and praying that the fields would open. Finally, on June 17th, the kids were finally given the green light to “PLAY BALL!” Coaches, players, volunteers, and parents jumped into action. Thanks to everyone’s tremendous efforts during an unprecedented summer season, our boys were able to play baseball in Newington.
The 8U division saw some great hitting, pitching, fielding, and comradery. New players were introduced to baseball, and the season ended last weekend under the lights as the Sharks and Panthers battled to the finish.
The 9-12 division was a season unlike any other. Young players were tested by facing older pitchers, and the older players were given the opportunity to play the final season of Little League that they had worked so hard for. Home runs were launched into the night skies, and socially distant crowds were dazzled by diving catches and double plays. The Scrappers, Dodgers, Sun Devils, and Cobra Kai battled all summer long. The teams showed grit and determination, while improving their skills one game at a time.
The summer season culminated in a Saturday night championship matchup between Cobra Kai and the Dodgers. It was a clean game full of great pitching and strong defense by both teams. After a hard fought six innings, the Dodgers came out on top, earning the 2020 NLL Summer League Championship. Congratulations to all players, coaches, parents, and volunteers that made this crazy season possible.
Final score: Boys of Summer: 1, COVID-19: 0. (quote courtesy of Skip Reporterson)”
Following the season, 14 players were names to the 12U All-Star team. The team will compete against other local towns for the chance to play for the District 7 Title. The All-Star players are as followed: Colin Braga, Kevin Batista, Dylan Chamberland, Dominic Creaco, Sean Devanney, Reece Hollfelder, Mason Iskra, Brayden Karanian, Steven Kiniry Jr, Nikolas Klin, Jaylin Manson, Ben Michaud, Ellis Peterson, Nate Piechowicz
The team will be led by manager Rich Hollfelder, and coaches Keith Chamberland, Jeff Devanney, Steve Kiniry, and Mike Michaud.
Next up is the Greater Hartford Fall Baseball League, which is a new league starting this fall and will include players from the towns of Newington, Hartford, Cromwell, Rocky Hill, and Wethersfield.
The league is split into three baseball divisions: 8U, 10U, and 12U. The divisions will focus on training and development of skills and fundamentals with most attention to players' achievements and fun with minimal attention to game scores.
Travel will be limited to the Greater Hartford area. Games will be held on Saturdays and Sundays starting on August 29th and will run through mid-October. There will be playoffs for each division.
All teams will make the playoffs. Playoff brackets will be determined by a random drawing, encouraging teams to focus on developing all players throughout the regular season.
For more information on the new fall league, visit www.newingtonll.com or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin