The skies were dry and cloudy as hundreds of players, parents and volunteers, along with members of both Langley councils, launched the 2018 ball season on Saturday morning, with opening ceremonies held at Noel Booth Park, City Park and Walnut Grove Community Park.
“We didn’t think we’d get a break on the weather, so we’re very, very happy about that, ” Langley Fastball Association (LFA) President Jeff Clegg said at Noel Booth park.
Celgg said said the LFA continues to grow at an “absolutely fantastic” pace, with 10 more minor players added to bring the total in that category to 420.
Ryan Leakey was recognized as volunteer of the year at the event, and Langley City mayor Ted Schaffer and Langley Township mayor Jack Froese pitched two balls simultaneously to open the season .
Schaffer, a former president of the association, referred to the Humboldt Broncos hockey team tragedy in his remarks.
“When you reflect back on what happened just over a week ago in Saskatchewan , and you take a look at your children, (we are) not unlike the families and the parents of those children,” Schaffer said.
Froese, a former soccer coach, led a cheer for the volunteers who keep the LFA going.
“It’s because of you that this happens,” Froese said.
“Have a lot of fun and stay safe.”
At City Park, the Broncos were acknowledged by Langley Baseball at the opening ceremonies with a pair of hockey sticks placed behind home plate where a group flag bearers stood as players, coaches and parents took the field.
At Walnut Grove, enthusiastic players got the 2018 North Langley Diamond Sports season off to a fast start , sprinting on to the field as the ceremonies took place.