Fri, Jan. 24

Verde Valley Little League

It's a little league tradition, opening day ceremonies. The Verde Valley Little League continued this tradition last Saturday at Riverfront Park in Cottonwood.

About 42 teams are signed up for this season. Teams range from t-ball to the junior division for 13-14 year-old players.

Opening season was full of fun, games and pictures. They began the day announcing the teams, followed by reciting the little league pledge, team pictures, a hit-a-thon and then games.

Normally the group would break up and go to different fields, but this year was different. Instead, they had two games on in the major division and another in the Minor. The kids played in front of a large crowd of parents and supporters.

The hit-a-thon was a success as well. This is the little league's annual fund-raiser. Players get pledges as to how far they can hit the ball.

"The whole day is a lot of fun," said little league president Sonny Zale. Zale has been a coach in the past, but is assisting this season while taking on the presidential responsibilities.

Little league games are going to be played just about every night from Monday through Friday and Saturday during the day. The Verde Valley little league also plays against the Sedona Little League.

Softball little league is also a big part of the program. There are about nine softball teams, which play every night as well.

The league is also awaiting new fields that are in the process of being built. Zale doesn't expect the fields to be ready until next season. But with those fields there, the divisions wouldn't have to split up into three or four separate fields as they are doing now.

"The coaches are also one's who played for this same little league," said Zale. "It's a tradition that's been in this town for a long time."

If you want more information about the little league, schedules or field locations you can log onto or call 649-9600.

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