With Little League All-Star Sectional tournaments underway, many communities are buzzing with excitement as their local District champions will show how they stack-up against fresh competition. But no community in the area can be more excited than Montoursville, which is sending five District 12 championship teams on to Section 3 play.
Montoursville took home district championships in 10-11 baseball, Junior League baseball, and Senior League baseball. They were also able to add two more titles, in 10-11 softball and Junior League softball. In accomplishing these feats, Montoursville also made District 12 history by becoming the first league to house five championship teams in a single All-Star season.
On Sunday the town held a parade in honor of the championship teams, just hours after their Junior League team helped to capture the leagues fifth district crown.
"Everyone seems to be really excited about this," said Mike Shaffer, Montoursville's Vice President of Softball. "It's great."
With nearly 430 kids on 40 teams overall, Montoursville's program is only able to flourish the way it has because of the tireless efforts of volunteers in the community and the dedication of their athletes.
"You are only as good as the people that are around you, and when you have people that shine around you it makes the whole league shine. That's what makes being a part of it so enjoyable," said the league president Scott Metzger.
"We just have a great group of volunteers, and as a president I am proud of our league and the people that come out and support them. It makes it much easier to be involved in something like that," he added.
Metzger, who has been on the league's board for 15 years, and has spent 10 years as president, believes that baseball and softball can play an integral part in developing children into well-rounded people.
"It helps build character and loyalty in these young men and women," he said. "We strive to support our kids whether they're winning or losing."
In that spirit, the Montoursville Little League developed an All-Star Agreement for its league's All-Stars to sign, which explains how they are expected to conduct themselves.
"It asks them to respect the game, be good examples to their families, and bring positive conduct to our community," Metzger said. "That's what it's about teaching kids to do things the right way."
On Saturday, when Montoursville's 10-11 Baseball team beat Keystone for the district championship, that sportsmanship was on display as the Montoursville shared a postgame pictures and a jog around the field with their competitors.
"You don't see very often that," Metzger said.
Montoursville will be hosting the Section 3 tournaments for both 10-11 Baseball and Junior Softball.
Being a town with a rich baseball history, the successful season that Montoursville's league is having does not come as a great surprise. Likewise, it will come as no surprise to see plenty of happy Montoursville baseball and softball fans at their fields as sectional tournaments begin.
"That's where the kids want to hang out in the summer, they want to go to the ball park. They want to hangout and watch the games, and go play on the playground," Metzger said. "That's what makes it such a nice place to be on a summer night in Montoursville."