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Young Ballplayers Warm Up to Opening Day

A cloudy Saturday morning did not cool the warmth of Norwalk Little League's opening ceremonies in Norwalk. Players, parents and coaches gathered at Broad River Field to take part in the event. Though this event has been a staple in Norwalk for some time, the message remained the same: Get involved, lighten up and have fun.

Having fun was not a problem. Coaches could be seen helping players break down the mechanics of a good swing, classmates now on rival teams chatted and joked around, and proud parents cheered their sons and daughters. The constant in all the baseball faire were smiles. Matt Gifford, a coach from the Stop & Shop Main Ave. Team, echoed the thrill of opening day. "You can't really explain how excited the kids are," he said. "It's nice to see the kids learning and getting into a sport that's all about working together."

Even though the young ballplayers were all smiles and full of energy, most had no trouble sleeping the night before all the festivities. "No, not really, I slept fine," said Benny Vazquez of Park Street Pediatrics. Vazquez also had no problem talking about this season. "I played last year, too," he said. "But this year I plan on doing a lot better. Today I had two doubles."

Nick Covino, Rotary Club's first baseman, is ready for the season and expects big things from his team and of himself. "We're going to destroy the team we're playing today," he said. "We have our best pitcher on the mound with Kyle. I plan on having a good season, too."

As teams were called onto the field for the first pitch and a few words from speakers including Mayor Richard Moccia and Little League President Scott Coulter, families gathered to snap pictures of the players and reminisce with friends.

Little League means a lot to the Norwalk community. Moccia said the sport is good for everyone involved. "Parents have an opportunity to be with their kids, teaching them the sport," he said. "The ultimate goal is to have fun with their parents, respect the game and respect the opposition."

When parents get involved in baseball, they get to be a friend to their children and connect with them on another level. Norwalk Little League, it's time to play ball!

Is your Little Leaguer excited to get the season started? Start the discussion below!

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