Special to the Auburn Mass Daily
Former Tornado and current Minnesota Twins Player Chris Colabello is Guest Speaker
Over 430 players, 100 volunteers, a state championship, a District 5 title, two district finalists … and enough fun and fundamentals to last a lifetime.
Indeed, Auburn Little League’s 2014 season was one for the history books.
With Chris Colabello of the Minnesota Twins as the guest speaker, the league celebrated its most successful year to date with its annual awards banquet on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the Auburn-Webster Elks. Colabello implored the Little Leaguers to follow their dreams.
“If you have a dream, you should follow it” said Colabello. “It doesn’t have to be playing professional baseball. Whatever your dream, work hard at it, and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t succeed.”
President Dave Nordman said the banquet served two purposes – to honor the league’s competitive champions and its dedication to sportsmanship.
“Our mission is to implant the ideals of good sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty and courage,” Nordman said, “through a supervised, competitive program.”
Honorees included the state champion Intermediate Division all-star team, the District 5 champion Junior Division all-star team, and the Senior and Major Division all-star teams, which both advanced to district finals.
Regular-season league champions Fuller Tire Center (AAA) and Marsh Kemp Insurance (Majors) were also honored.
Meanwhile, Sportsmen of the Year Awards were presented to Dylan Sampson (AAA Division), Nicholas Billings (Majors), Zachary Lazerick (Intermediate) and Bradley Simonelli (Juniors).
All four boys were selected for their enthusiasm, team spirit and good example they set for the teammates and opponents.
Before the trophies were handed out, Nordman recapped the league’s accomplishments from 2014, which included a 20 percent increase in participation and the complete renovation of Franklin Field. The league also fielded four summer teams and hosted two tournaments at the Pappas Recreation Complex.
He also praised the efforts of Steve Jette (outgoing vice president), Don Letson (treasurer) and Dena Daoust (player agent and incoming vice president), as well as league supervisors Mike Papandrea (Juniors), Matt Stencel (Majors), Gary Cedrone (AAA), Ralph Capaldi (Minors) and Eric Swedberg (Coach Pitch).
“A league is only as successful as its volunteers,” Nordman said. “Our success, on and off the field, is because of their dedication.”
Looking ahead to 2015, Nordman said Auburn Little League will introduce a softball program. While girls have always participated in the league’s co-ed T-Ball and Coach Pitch programs, Minor Division (ages 7-9) and Major Division (10-12) softball will debut in the spring.
So far, Nordman said, Auburn Little League has signed up over 100 softball players with registration still open (www.auburnmalittleleague.com).
To reward its efforts, District 5 has asked Auburn Little League to host a district-wide softball jamboree to kick off its inaugural season.
Championship teams honored included:
Senior Division All-Stars — Jacob DiLeo, Patrick Fitzgerald, Benjamin Jette, Avery Lemanski, Justin Letson, Luke Matthews, Matthew McConville, TJ Medlin, Jacob Nichols, Nathan Ramos, Steven Saucier, Conor Scully, Mathew Szalay, Josh Tower and Patrick Westerlind
Junior Division All-Stars — Mike Collins, Zachary Hall, Coleson Hammond, Joseph Hopper, Joseph Kennedy, Lucas Kusy, Ty Matthews, Collin McKeon, Griffin Millette, Matthew Palmer, Dominic Papandrea, Brian Sarkisian and Bradley Zona
Intermediate All-Stars — Michael Robichaud, Jared Ullstrom, Elijah Olacio, Nicholas Bartoli, Devon Bruyere, Joshua Adams, Marcus LaPointe, Aiden Gowaski, Zachary Lazerick, Patrick Hannon, Nolan Daoust, John Hurley and Sean Fleming
Major Division All-Stars — Michael Bean, Michael Breen, Coleman Picard, CJ Willis, Nigel Belgrave, Evan Kokocinski, Nolan Kennedy, Colin Lutz, Samuel Stencel, Alex Stencel, Ryan Lempicki, Joseph Clougherty, Griffin Handfield and Justin Skaparas.
Major Division regular season (Marsh Kemp) — Evan Kokocinski, Coleman Picard, Daniel Deso, Nigel Belgrave, Drew Lemansky, Cody Evans, Joseph Clougherty, Ethan Leonard, Keegan Moore, Sean Lovely Jr. and Ryan Quinn
AAA Division regular season (Fuller Tire Center) — Jack Beauregard, Ryan Carmel-Escott, Dominic Chivallatti, Kevin Cunningham, Andrew Falcigno, Ryan Greenwood, Jeremy Mahoney, Casey Shrauger, Kaleb Simoneau, Trevor Smith and Ryan Sullivan.