RIPPLES Little Leaguers Play Ball, Wash Cars

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 5, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / July 5, 2000

A car wash was going on nearby. That’s what Natalie Robottom told me atthe tennis court because she had to get out there with her son, too. Well,that was for me, so off to the Wendy’s parking lot I went to get in line.

There was more than a car wash going on, though. It looked more like anevent! The area was filled with people of all ages and the only ones just standing around were the owners of the vehicles to be washed. Everyoneelse was busily doing something, mostly scrubbing down vehicles of all kinds.

Seeing so much activity with so many different people, youths and adults, seemed interesting, so I started asking questions.

Dennis Pollard was the first person I spoke to. That’s when I first learnedthe car wash was a fund-raising attempt by the LaPlace Little League all- stars in the event they have to travel for playoffs. In regular season Denniscoaches the Pirates but was helping with the all-stars in that age group, which team Lou Hall coaches assisted by Greg Triche, Mark McMurry and Mickey Landry. By the way, a bunch of coaches was out there, too, witheverybody putting out a little more effort! Top players from the four teams of Dodgers, Pirates, Yankees and Tigers in the league were chosen for the all-star team. Mimi Gonzales, Joel Gonzalesand Pat Hymel work with the 9- and 10-year-old group, while the 11 and 12 year olds are guided by Mark Haniford, Herb Stell and Mike Curtis.

The state all-stars tournament will be coming up July 7 and 8 with district play being over by the time you read this. That started June 30, but thisgroup wasn’t waiting to begin their quest for traveling money. Some of thetravel destinations are Tickfaw, Bunkie and Marksville, and for these young people those could be exciting journeys.

Of course it is an honor and privilege to be chosen for the all-stars. Thedifficult choice has to be made in choosing players and, unfortunately, even some very good players don’t get the opportunity. But the decision, asdifficult as it is (and I come from a sports family to know this), has to be made. Interestingly, in the older age group, it is the players themselves whovote on the all-stars from the other teams. It would be tough to argue withthat! Something about the car wash was inspiring! All those hands at work! Before you knew it people who just took over and didn’t leave any dirty spots surrounded your vehicle. Some of the parents were supervising, but manywere wrapped up in soapy water and as wet as any of the youngsters. Forsure, though, they were having fun with their work, too. This Little Leagueorganization was once known as NOAH, but regardless of the name, players and supporters, especially parents, really seem to get into it when the time comes to play ball or raise funds.

Let me just say that if the ball playing is as good and as enthusiastic as the car washing, the opposing teams have an even tougher job on their hands.

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