Opening Day for Little League

It was a day of balls, strikes and smiles at Sam Pasco Park Saturday as more than 430 players opened up the 2024 Zephyrhills Little League season.

Not even a delay in a shipment of uniforms dampened the spirits of the players of the 36 team with age ranges from four to 16. A nice addition to the event was a celebration of 50 years of Little League Softball.

New Zephyrhills Little League President Chris Matthews had a packed agenda for the opening ceremony that saw more than 1,000 family members and friends outside the fence cheering on their teams. Senior division softball player Kiara Little started off the ceremony with the Little League Pledge followed by a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by Ethan Rich.

Kevin Ryman of Ryman Roofing and Ryman Construction threw out the first pitch with his grand niece Tegan Ryman behind the plate as his catcher. Ryman Roofing was critical to the success of the ZLL this season when the Ryman team stepped in and took care of a much needed roof replacement on the league’s equipment building.

Following Ryman’s strike, another donor, Chevrolet of Wesley Chapel was recognized for its sponsorship of a new scoreboard on one of the softball fields.

The love from Chevy continued with Shawn Reutimann of Jim Brown Automotive presenting a check for $1,100 and a variety of equipment from the Chevy Youth Baseball and Softball Program. In all, in-kind sponsorships and business sponsorships total more than $40,000 this season for the league.

The time everyone was waiting for rolled quickly as league vice president Genna Rich introduced each team who made their way to the center of the infield for a photo and to be recognized.

Each team played a game on opening and will continue to play a complete season until closing day May 11.

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