September 14, 1998
Their play and sportsmanship were exemplary
As District Administrator to 15 leagues in the Seattle, North Seattle and Northshore area, I have the opportunity to witness many different levels of competitive sports. District Eight Little League hosts a minimum of seven post-season tournaments each year. This year we were fortunate enough to have three teams win State Championships. One of these exceptional teams was the Little League major team from Woodinville West. This team's level of play and sportsmanship was exemplary through the District Tournament which they won. Winning District allowed them to compete in the State Tournament in Port Orchard, which they also won. By winning the State Tournament, they earned the right to represent the State of Washington in the Western Regional Tournament. The winner of Western Region advances to the World Series.
My wife and I had planned our vacation around the Western Region Tournament. We are on the tournament committee and were planning to volunteer our time cooking burgers and/or helping wherever we were needed. It was a great treat for us to have had our District Champion among the 13 teams competing to represent the Western Region in the Little League World Series. We feel extremely priviledged having been included in this wonderful group of youngster's experience.
The competitive spirit, team decorum, good manners and consideration for others was apparent everywhere these young men appeared. Every District Administrator and Representative for the State of Washington was extremely proud of Our State Representative at Western Region. Win or lose this team, managers, coaches and parents did nothing to degrade themselves or the sport they chose as their medium of expression.
I have a philosophy about Little League baseball and this group of youngsters exemplifies what I believe youth sports should portray. They are the good young citizens of today and if their conduct is in any way representative of how they will be when they are adults, our future will be in excellent hands!
During the tournaments, I heard a great many compliments about this group of people, players, manager, coaches and parents. I do not believe that the values this team portrayed is something that just happens. Somebody taught them the value of sportsmanship, team play and in general good manners. Thank you to their parents for providing the guidance and training that results in young people like these.
A few of these players will probably go on to become professional players. Others will decide on other careers in other fields. I cannot help but believe that the attitudes and training I was fortunate enough to witness will be the tools they will need to succeed. They were gracious in winning and heroic when they lost their opportunity to go to the World Series. In my heart, I know that they were not only the best team but also the class of the tournament.
Carol Smith, representing Woodinville West Little League, and myself were approached by a gentlemen representing Little League Baseball in Great Britain. We are waiting for all of the particulars from the group before presenting it to the league for their consideration. We were asked if we thought that the team would be interested in being an Ambassador for Little League baseball in England. We were told that the team had been selected because not only do they play the game of baseball with skill and expertise but also because they represent all that Little League Baseball is intended to be. It was not an offer that based on wins and losses. If they had not won a game, the offer would still have been made based on their presence on and off the field. The intent of this offer is to have the team help English youth appreciate and enjoy the game of baseball by showing them that baseball is not only a game of skill but that it can be fun as well.
I express my sincere gratitude to the Woodinville West Major Baseball All Star Team, their manager, Mike Lentz, coaches Glenn Phillips and John Welker, and league president Curt Wyatt for affording me the opportunity to be a part of your adventure. I wish you success in all your life endeavors. I know that your successes will certainly benefit all of those associated with you.
Gary Newsome, District Administrator, District Eight Little League