Getting a jump on spring

Nobody cared whether Snoqualmie Pass averages 354 inches of snowfall per year and is sure to be way above that mark the way the white stuff has fallen in the past week or so.

The sun was shining Saturday morning and even though the temperature wasn’t that warm, the kids and adults at Hillcrest Elementary School were thinking spring at the annual North Whidbey Little League Fun Day.

Baseball and softball players of all ages were on hand to get in a little batting, pitching and throwing practice in the gym while parents had the opportunity to meet league officials and learn what the program has to offer, commensurate with other players’ parents and even to sign up their future all stars if they hadn’t gotten the registration forms turned in yet.

There was a lot of concentration shown by young players as they worked on their swings in the “cages.”

New to the program this year is 5-year-old Josh Simmons and his twin brother, Tristan.

Their mother, Andrea, said both boys attend Oak Harbor Christian School and this is their first year playing baseball.

“I’m gonna have fun,” Josh said, decked out in a batting helmet replete with face mask, as he took his “cuts” at the teed-up ball smacking it into an adjoining net.

It was a little different with veteran softball players Samantha Zimmerman and Lydia Dolph.

The 13-year-old Zimmerman and the 11-year-old Dolph are both pitchers and they were making the ball hum into their respective catchers’ gloves while working on their control.

“I pitched last year, but my team didn’t do so good,” Zimmerman said. “I’m hoping we do better this year, but the most important thing is to have fun.”

Dolph made the all-star team last year and said she is hoping for a repeat performance this season.

“Last year, I pitched, caught and played second base,” she said. “We made it to the playoffs and I want to get there again.”

Little League officials had the popcorn machine in full operation in the gym in case anybody needed to snack during a break in the action, but there weren’t any peanuts and crackerjack available just yet.

Those items will probably have to wait until the players are able to begin practicing and playing games outdoors.

It’s still not too late to sign up for the 2008 season.

Registration forms can be picked up at Dairy Queen, King’s Cards, 7-Eleven, McDonalds, Wendy’s and Big 5 Sporting Goods. 

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