The Napa Junior Girls Softball League held Opening Day ceremonies Saturday at its fields on Freeway Drive.
League president Will Valentine introduced guest emcee Vern Glenn of KRON Channel 4, who then introduced Valentine and his fellow board members — vice president Lisa Tremain, secretary Dana Garcia, treasurer Nellie Miller, and snack shack coordinator Stacey Small.
Also introduced and invited to the pitching circle were player managers Pat O’Brien (8-and-under division), Darryl Heinke (10-and-under) and Tim Garcia (12-and-under).
The special guests were Napa Valley Girls Fastpitch Association president Mike Daly, Napa High School junior varsity softball coach Fran Finch, Vintage High School junior varsity softball coach Amanda Keig Rice, Xtreme Softball’s Lisa Cole, and Napa Valley Express’s Jeff Lehman and Brian Tremain.
Also introduced were the coaches of the teams in each of the NJGSL’s three age divisions.
For the 8U division, they are Pat O’Brien (Andie’s Café), Jason Hall (Hall Construction), Mike Snider (Umpqua Bank), Mike Bright (Dr. Kuni D.D.S.) and Rod Blackmon (Villa Corona).
In the 10U division, the coaches are Lloyd Lucas (Plumbline), Curtis Smith (Mark Coleman State Farm Insurance), Don Huckfeldt (Huckfeldt Well Drilling), Dannen Goetze (Cooke Orthodontics), Jason Warren (Napa City Firefighters) and Chris Brandt (D’Ambrosio Vineyards).
For the 12U division, they are Tim Garcia (Ranch Market), Marvin Paul (Paul Hanson Partners), Justin Tharp (iServe Residential Lending), John Sloan (Wine Valley Investigations), Steve Veveiros (Custom Heating and Air) and Bruce Miller (Byron’s Auto Body).
Before the raffle drawings, the league thanked Michelle Reed, Gena Shelfo, Lisa Cole, Pat O’Brien, Debbie Sauter, Gloria Valentine and the board members for helping to bring the prizes from the donors.
The prizes included a one-month pass to Amica Studios Fitness, two $10 gift certificates at Anette’s Chocolates, two free pitching sessions with Tammie Mansuy, two free pitching or catching sessions with Amanda Keig Rice, a backpack bag from AC Sports, one free sitting at Bruce Miller Photography, an $80 gift certificate for breakfast at Compadres Rio Grille, $50 and $80 gift certificates for Hurley’s in Yountville, $100 cash prize from the NJGSL, two $100 gift certificates for the Napa Valley Softball Academy, six cupcakes from Sift, and two tickets to see Mayer Hawthorn at Uptown Theater on June 17.
A special player raffle was held, giving out two equipment bags for each of the three age divisions, a basket filled with items from the snack bar, and a bicycle donated by Eagle Cycling Club.
The national anthem was sung by Tori Langfitt, from Voices of Eve N Angels (VOENA).
The first pitch was thrown by Makenzie Miller and caught by Lexi Wagoner. The former NJGSL players make up the main battery for this year’s Napa High School varsity softball team.
After all exclaimed “It’s time to play ball,” the first day of games began at 9 a.m. and wrapped up with games set for 2 p.m.
Valentine said the league thanks Plumbline Creative for its new logo, and Jodie Nieman Designs for its new field sign and Justin Tharp for installing it.
It also thanks R&S Glazing for the updated window, Custom Heating & Air for the continued help with its systems, and DHC Construction for help with the fields.
“We want to thank the continued support of the families that entrust their kids to the volunteers and the continued support of the community for the players in our league,” Valentine added.
Visit www.njgsl.org or www.facebook.com/njgsl for more information on the NJGSL.