Little League set to start

William Thompson

Quay County Little League baseball has been a spring tradition for over half a century in the area. B.J. Molinas, president of the Quay County Little League, said this season should be as fun-filled as ever.

“We are about ready to go,” said Molinas. “Hopefully over 300 kids will be playing this year.”

The Quay County Little League coaches met last night in Tucumcari and discovered that they have a need for several more coaches for Logan and Tucumcari teams. C.J. Wiegel, a Tucumcari coach, said that coaching is a very rewarding experience.

“You get to teach a kid new skills.,” said Wiegel. “You get to help kids, and practice is only an hour or so five times a week.”

Molinas agreed with Wiegel about the satisfaction one may receive from coaching.

“It’s not just about coaching kids. You get to know them. You develop life-long relationships,” said Molinas.

Children from ages five to 15 are eligible to play Little League. The 11-12 year-old division is the one most people are familiar with. In Little League. It is referred to as the “majors”. The “majors” have the potential to eventually play in the Little league World Series. This year, the Quay County teams will be wearing uniforms modeled after Major League baseball teams like the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves, for example. The Little League teams will be selling candy and 50-50 raffle tickets to pay for new equipment and uniforms. The first games are set to be played April 17. Practice begins the first week of April. Beginning this year, Little Leagues nationwide are conducting background checks of all volunteers including coaches, assistants and even groundskeepers. Little League Baseball will overlook most prior criminal offenses, but according to the coaches at Tuesday evening’s meeting, anyone with any criminal offense on their record involving children will not be allowed to participate. The coaches agreed that the new background checks are a necessity to ensure parents that their children will have a safe Little League experience. Molinas strongly encouraged more people to volunteer, especially as coaches.

“I’ve seen a lot of first-time coaches over the years,” said Molinas. “Just about every one of them wanted to come back and coach again, year after year.”

Molinas said that for anyone who may be inexperienced, but still wants to coach, there is not a problem. He said the league will provide coaching clinics, and other coaches are always willing to teach fundamentals. Anyone wishing to volunteer should call 461-2874 or 461-1876.