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Weather can’t dampen Little League opener

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The lingering winter weather couldn’t delay the boys of summer.

Watertown American Little League opened its 58th season Saturday at Ted Rand Memorial Field with temperatures in the low 40s and a steady, cold wind.

This is the 75th anniversary season for Little League baseball worldwide.

“It’s great to have opening day, you just got to bring those coats,” said Jonah Frechette, a sixth-grader at Immaculate Heart Central who plays for Freeman Bus.

The league contains about 60 kids from ages 9-12 on five teams: Police, Elks, Barrett Paving, Freeman Bus and Brownville American Legion.

League president Sean Larrabee said the opening day weather was nothing out of the norm. He said it snowed on opening day last season, which fell on May 11.

“It might be just a hair warmer than last year,” Larrabee said. “You never know what the weather’s going to be. But it’s chilly. I got my Under Armour on under my suit.”

Larrabee and some volunteers discovered last week that one of the field’s water pipes was damaged by the ice storm in late December.

They were at the field until 9:30 p.m. Friday, Larrabee said, to make temporary repairs and ensure opening day could go on as scheduled.

The day started with ceremonies at 10 a.m. Each team’s players were announced and they ran onto the field.

Then, Larrabee and the league’s player agent, Rejean Roux, were named District 37 Co-Volunteers of the Year by district administrator Dan Salmon.

The district spans from Pulaski to Plattsburgh and contains nine leagues.

Salmon’s assistant and Larrabee’s former Pulaski Little League coach, Jim Ridgeway, presented the awards.

The opening day ceremonies were followed by two games.

League games will continue through June 6 before an all-star team is selected for the district playoffs, which is the first step toward making the Little League World Series.

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