It was great hearing from so many of you about last week’s article, Thirty-One Words to Live By. A special tip of my Webb Weekly cap to Mike Juran for sharing Red Skeleton’s word-by-word meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance. Please take a moment to view at webbweekly.com, or Google and watch on YouTube.
It is a must-watch for every American. It or an equivalent remake should be required viewing in every school in our Nation. Maybe get a patriotic star of today to film a new version.
I will soon be picking up where I left off last week, on the train wreck that is Washington. However, if Congress can take a six-week vacation, I’m going to take a break from the complete frustration of their absurdity. Besides, there’s too much good stuff going on to dwell on the negativity and division of both parties.
What an amazing time of year in the West Branch Valley. When you can enjoy those most special days of summer while autumn in Penns Woods is just around the corner, I love the hot days, cooler nights, and enjoying the local harvest. There’s nothing better than that first homegrown tomato sandwich of the season. Other than maybe the next one. Just seeing the hustle and bustle at Tebb’s as the ladies bag up all that is grown in God’s green earth, brings a smile to my face. We are so very blessed by the special folks that work the soil.
That early morning fog and smell in the air tells you the boys and girls of summer will soon give way to Friday Night Lights and back to school time. The Little League World Series is a week away, and high school gridiron action begins on August 23rd. If you represent a local baseball or softball All-Star team and are still playing, it has been a season that will be remembered for a lifetime.
As you’re reading this, the South Side Little League Girls of Summer are competing in Portland, Oregon. These young ladies are having one of those journeys of a lifetime. The memories, the bonds, the love for each other already forged by competition. The dream of returning home with a Little League Championship dancing in their heads. Think about that, Little Mountaineer Little League competing for a World Championship Crown.
There were high expectations for these girls, competing as 9 and 10-year-old All-Stars they won a state crown and made a name for themselves at the East Regional Tournament. These high expectations become a target on your back as you attempt to return to a Regional Final. Then hopefully punch your ticket to the World Series. Manager Cory Goodman and his coaches Chris Schuler and Josh Cox have done a fantastic job preparing the girls for this year’s journey.
Coach Cory is truly one of the good guys. In talking with him, he completely gets it. He understands the importance of “Team” and team building. He completely gets that past success is only a step toward achieving a future goal. Most importantly, he understands it’s about teaching not just a game but lessons for a lifetime. While keeping it about fun and that special time of Little League in a young person’s life.
Coach shared the following with me, “As a member of a team, everybody has a role. It is their job to be prepared and execute their role whenever called upon. The girls have worked hard and been amazing all summer. They come to practice each and every day ready to work, and we practice every day. Every girl on the team has helped us get to the World Series.”
Coach Cory is very proud of the fact that the girls receive compliments, not just about their great play on the field but also how they act off the field like young ladies. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls, they just get it,” he stated. This all begins with the manager and coaches. Rule number one of any coaching handbook is, always behave like a lady or gentleman.
The team’s motto is “Focus every pitch, Win every inning, Keep the pedal down.” Then sounding off with, “What side?? Southside!!” You do these things — you are going to win a lot of ball games at any level. The key to reaching a World Series is having your team prepared to focus on every pitch, to understand how to win every inning, and then finish off your opponent. It takes years of dedication and hard work to teach and develop talent capable of reaching a World Series. This just isn’t taught in a few practices at All-Star time. This has been instilled in this “Team,” probably beginning when the girls first started playing at a young age.
Coach Cory would like to thank everyone that has helped get the “Team” to the World Series. “There are way too many people that have helped out to thank everyone individually. The coaches, the team, as well as the parents, have really stepped up and helped out wherever needed. The local community has gotten behind the team in every way to support us. Thank you to everyone.”
Tip of my Phillies MLB Little League Classic cap to you, Coach! I would share a dugout with you and your staff any day. Best of luck and safe travels to your “Team”! And yes, you need a little luck to reach a World Series. There are always a few times the ball just has to bounce your way during the journey.
God Bless America.