La Verne Little League Rolls Out the Green Carpet as 2018 Season Nears

December 19, 2017
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The sold installation went seamlessly.

LA VERNE, California, December 19, 2017 — It’s really no secret why La Verne Little League was just a couple heartbeats away from representing the West in the Little League World Series this past summer. The city, community and the Little League leadership, representing the players and their parents, perform huge amounts of work behind the scenes preparing for the upcoming season. It’s the reason why Kirk B. Johnson Memorial Park (also known as Pelota Park) continues to look better and better with each passing year.


So there they were last Saturday morning out in force — more than 40 volunteers — laying sod (provided at a great price from West Coast Turf) and prepping the field to ensure La Verne’s new crop of Little League players will enjoy a fantastic playing experience.


The success of La Verne Little League is based on the ‘It-takes-a-village’ approach.

This is a critical age for the players,” said La Verne Little League Vice President Michael Mann. “Many of the kids are learning for the first time. The kids, parents and community deserve fields they can all be proud of.”


The laying of the sod was truly a joint community effort. Spearheaded by the organizing efforts of Troy Sherman, Ryan Gomez and Alex Aguilar, volunteers representing the Bonita varsity baseball team, Mt. SAC, Azusa Pacific, Cal Poly Pomona, and the community at large answered the daybreak call for service.


Even without the donuts and coffee fueling them they would have shown up.


“Our guys have played here, so it’s great back to give back and partner with them,” said new Bonita High School Coach Ryan Marcos who brought many of his players out. “This continued partnership is huge for both our programs.”


Keepers of the flame: From left, current Bonita head varsity coach Ryan Marcos with past Bonita head coach and now current Mt. SAC head coach John Knott.

John Knott, now in his second season as head baseball coach at Mount SAC after guiding Bonita to a CIF title and several league championships, was happy to be on the field.


“I live in the community and La Verne Little League did a lot for me personally,” he said. “This is a place of so many memories. So many players who have gone through our system started right here.


“We’re in a time and era when the number of kids playing Little League baseball has fallen off, but not this place!”


Although on a cool, crisp December morning, the start of another baseball campaign still seems weeks away, you got the impression from the workers on the field that opening day was just around the corner.


“We couldn’t have put this off until January,” Mann said. “We’ve got the draft and tryouts coming up and the new grass needs time to grow.


“I just feel blessed we could get this kind of participation.”


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Now back to the photos:

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