By Riley Smith (JMU Class of 16)
Harrisonburg Little League Association has been around since 2000, the same year that current Coach Will Zampini moved to Harrisonburg. Zampini has coached and volunteered for HLLA for the past 5 years, starting in t-ball then working his way up to farm league, and now he is currently coaching in the minors. Zampini is only 29 years old, but he has had a ton of baseball experience, starting off right here with HLLA.
“It was always so much fun playing in HLLA and playing with your friends. And when you got to all-stars, you got to travel with other guys and play in different places. When we were in junior league, we actually won the state championship and that banner is the only one up on the clubhouse till this day,” said Zampini.
Zampini’s baseball success did not stop in HLLA. After he finished senior league in HLLA, he played 4 years at Harrisonburg High School before playing college baseball at Baltimore Community College. He pitched for one year at BCCC before having to come back home to Harrisonburg.
“I had some shoulder issues, I was going to go back. But, then, I really started to have some problems with my shoulder,” said Zampini.
Zampini needed surgery on his rotator cuff before he could even think about pitching again. Unfortunately, the injury ended his baseball career.
Since Zampini could no longer play the game, he decided to volunteer for HLLA as a coach. Dean Warlitner, HLLA president, welcomed him back with open arms.
“Dean coached while I played. He was the coach of the Phillies at that time and I was on the Giants. He will still say until this day that we never beat them. But, I know we did. I’ve known Dean since I was 12 or 13 years old,” said Zampini.
Zampini just could not stay away from the game.
By Bri Sayasithsena (JMU Class of 16)
Saturday May 21, 2016, little leaguers will gear up to hit balls in support of bat-a-thon. Bat-a-thon is a yearly fundraiser put on by the Harrisonburg Little League. Beginning in 2005, the players raised money to fund every aspect of spending for the little league.
Players have the opportunity to go up to bat—with every ball they hit they earn a point, for each point earned children get the chance to win a prize. This fundraiser “Helps keep registration costs down—we [HLLA] have the lowest costs in the valley” said Dean Warlitner, President of HLLA.
Players and their family are expected to raise at least $50. Participants may earn more prizes by raising over the $50 minimum. With each dollar they raise they are issued a ticket. Just like at an arcade, players can cash in their tickets for prizes. This year’s prizes include movies, games, toys and much more.
For those who raise $100 or more they will be entered into a drawing for $500. For each additional $100 raised will also be another chance to win the grand prize. Last year’s event raised close to $7,000 for the league, this year, our goal this year is $10,000.
Parents and players have multiple ways of fundraising:
HLLA is also in search of volunteers to help out with the event, for more information on how you can get involved please email HLLA vice president, Crystal Brown at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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