By Sam Greene (JMU Class of 18)
The Harrisonburg community is a wonderfully supportive one. That’s exactly why the Harrisonburg Little League Association (HLLA) has a consistent group of volunteers that have no children or no stake in the league volunteer. They want to show their support and their pure love of the game and the children in the league.
That volunteer group would be delighted to take on a few more sports lovin’ citizens—especially parents!
Donnie Ange, a mechanic by day and HLLA coach for nine years now, was first asked by a friend to step in to coach a baseball team. He’s still doing it. Donnie shares, “Honestly, fun is what keeps me around now.”
By Hannah Marrero (JMU Class of 2017)
How do the Harrisonburg Little League Association and the Harrisonburg community team up to finance their love of the game?
It’s not easy to pitch a perfect game. However, a little teamwork and a lot of dedication can make anything possible.
That is exactly how the Harrisonburg Little League Association and the Harrisonburg community team up to fund the local children’s love of baseball and softball.
In 2015, roughly $60,932 was needed to fund all 28 of the Harrisonburg Little League teams. This money goes toward uniforms, supplies, league support, umpires, and funding for team members whose families can’t afford the registration fees.
By: Carrie Holland (JMU Class of 17')
There’s a first time for everything. Especially baseball for Christmas.
Including Little League at Christmas.
After almost a year of brainstorming and preparation, Harrisonburg Little League Association takes their place in the city’s annual Holiday parade taking place in downtown Harrisonburg Dec. 2, Friday at 7:00 p.m.
The time for a Little League Christmas has come.
By Bri Sayasithsena (JMU Class of 16)
What does it mean to be a coach for 13 years? Coach Mike Engle knows. Coach Engle and I met to talk about some of his most memorable moments as a coach. An endearing and committed part of the team, Coach Engle reminded me that being a coach is more than wins and losses—what matters most are the children.
After moving to Harrisonburg for his junior year of college at Eastern Mennonite University, Coach Engle has remained for the past 32 years. During that time, he did some coaching for his church team and softball leagues for adults. He engaged in some construction work for about ten years, then moved into computer work. For the past 13 years, he has been an active volunteer for the Harrisonburg Little League Association. He has three children, all of whom have played for the Little League.
He started when his older son played t-ball and moved through the leagues with him. Currently, he is coaching the team his younger son Josh plays for. And now, it has been 13 years since he started coaching children at HLLA.
Interviewed by Alex Khalifeh (JMU Class of 18)
Written by J. B. Gochenour (Lecturer at JMU)
Crystal Taylor, vice president of Harrisonburg Little League Association, has a very special title. For many, she’s Harrisonburg’s “baseball lady.”
A longtime Harrisonburg Little League parent and volunteer, Taylor has spent the last decade working with a team of league supporters that help keep Harrisonburg Little League Association’s season on the calendar and players returning to the field.
“I started volunteering 10 years ago as a team mom and working at our big events and have been on the board for 8 years and Vice President for 6 years,” Taylor said.
HLLA relies on volunteers like Taylor and her co-workers who donate untold hours staffing games, sorting through and filling out paperwork, keeping team records, holding fund-raisers, selling refreshments, and keeping HLLA running smoothly behind the scenes.
“I cannot say enough about how much she actually does for HLLA," said Dean Warlitner, HLLA president. "All the behind the scenes stuff that no one sees. If we listed everything she does, it will be very long and detailed.”
HLLA Story is an official blog site of the Harrisonburg Little League Association. All contents are managed by Dr. Julie Gochenour and Dr. Isaac Woo and their student writers in the School of Communication Studies at James Madison University. If you have any questions or concerns about the site or any contents, please contact Dr. Gochenour (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Woo (email@example.com)