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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jun 29, 2017

Lincroft Little League Opening Day

By Les Pierce

The Lincroft Little League Yankees proudly display their team banner.

Lincroft Little League Opening Day is always a sure indicator that spring has finally arrived. The league’s 57th season was launched on Saturday, April 22 with the annual parade and opening day ceremonies, led by Middletown Township Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger and league president Dean Esposito. Teams followed in the procession, proudly displaying their homemade banners. The players broke rank repeatedly to catch candy being tossed by onlookers, but ultimately made their way to the field.

The on-field activities began with the National Anthem being sung by Middletown High School South student Sophia Montalbano, followed by the invocation given by Deacon Richard Tucker of Saint Leo the Great. Mr. Esposito then introduced Mayor Scharfenberger, who addressed the crowd and spoke of the importance of the league to the youth of the area and its contributions to community spirit. Mr. Esposito then presented the “Volunteer of the Year Award” to Stephanie Rahill, saying, “Not much gets done without her involvement. Anything that needs organizing, she runs. She has been very helpful for the league over the past three years.” He then recognized Mike Kosik with the “Outstanding Service Award,” citing his 10+ years of service to the league. Mr. Esposito stated, “Mike is going to step down after this year. He has been a key member to the board, and during registration, manages all the required computer support.”

He then turned the attention of the attendees to the center field fence, where a banner has been installed in memory of Jack Esposito, which included his jersey number. Jack passed away in August from complications of a bone marrow transplant following relapsed leukemia. The ceremonial first pitch was tossed by Evan Yasser, with Kylie Doyle behind the plate to make the catch.

Mr. Esposito later stated, “I have been a member of the board of Lincroft Little League for seven years now. Opening day parade is one of my favorite days. To watch all the players and coaches come out with their banners and see the people in town line the streets for them is awesome. Our goal as a Little League is to provide each player an experience they will remember for a lifetime. We are lucky to have great volunteers that dedicate a lot of their time in making this league a success. I personally want to thank every last one.”