In youth sports — whether it’s hockey, soccer or baseball/softball — you often see the same organizations or parks appear in championship games year after year.
As Tevye sang in the opening number of Fiddler on the Roof, it’s about tradition. And the volunteer parents who keep coming back long after their kids have aged-out of youth sports.
“It’s that continuity,” said Vancouver Little Mountain manager Blair Shapera, after his squad defeated host Layritz 12-0 Saturday in the B.C. 9-10 Little League baseball championship game.
“Three years ago, our 11-12 Little Mountain team won the provincials and nationals to represent Canada [in 2010] at the Little League World Series in Williamsport. This year, we win the B.C. 9-10 title. We have an amazing volunteer base at our park that keeps coming back year after year to help keep things going.”
Manager Dave Potter was an example on the Layritz side. His own children have long since left that age level, but the transit bus driver is in his seventh year of managing the Layrtiz 9-10 team after two years with the Saanich park’s 11-12 squad.
“It’s the Layrtiz family,” he said, noting the hundreds of supporters who lined the fences to watch the championship game Saturday.
“We put the word out that we were hosting this year. People who had not been out to the park in five or 10 years, came out to cheer for us in the provincial tournament.”
Potter will be back doing what he does.
“We’ll be back here in September, gearing up for next season,” he said.
“You'll see the [older-age group] coaches helping out and passing down tips to our T-ball coaches. Kids get to know a bit about the tradition here.”
And creating traditions is what it’s all about.