A great run for Ripken All-Stars
As you will read in this week's Press, the Jamestown 12-year-old Cal Ripken All-Star team had a great run in the state tournament, held at River Point Park in West Warwick starting last Saturday. The team had their best showing in many years posting a 2-2 record, good enough for a fourth place finish in the seven-team tournament. Perhaps the sweetest moment was our 13-3 victory over Apponaug, who always ended up being one of our opponents and who always had defeated us in past tournaments.
But I wish to point out that it really isn't about the wins and losses. It's about the way this team conducted itself for four days. They demonstrated camaraderie, hustle, determination, and sportsmanship; all those qualities that every coach relishes when working with youngsters. It was tough to lose that second game (it was a double elimination tournament) but the team knew they had come a long way, longer than anyone could imagine. However, in the end, as we shook hands with victorious Darlington, the opposing coach took me aside and said, "Coach, that is a fantastic bunch of players you have there." Even more, the tournament directors, at each of our appearances, as he did at this one, took me aside and said "It's a pleasure to have your teams here. Your kids have the right attitude." Receiving compliments like these is the real victory here. I commend the players and their parents.
To my co-coaches, Paul Mc- Dermott and Andy MacIntyre, I say thank you for all your help. To the parents and fans who followed us and rooted for us, thank you so much. It was really fun and a heckuva ride.
Tony Rafanelli Jamestown Baseball