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Davie Little League Challengers A Joy For Players, Fans, Coaches

Little League is celebrating its 75th year.
And the Davie Little League is celebrating 30 years.
For the past 30 years, Davie Little League has been nurturing and developing young minds and bodies through its baseball and softball programs. The Davie Little League typically has 600 to 700 children participating each year.
Last year, the board of directors of Davie Little League began to discuss the addition of the Challenger Division in an effort to make baseball and softball available to all children in Davie County. The board recognized the need to include children who have physical and developmental challenges and began to make plans to offer the new division for 2014.
The Challenger Division, team name “The Braves,” with the help of volunteers and parents, kicked off its first game of the season on May 1 with Southwest’s Challenger team at the Davie complex on Farmington Road.
The stands were filled with fans who cheered on all of the players as they took to the field.
“Even though these players may have physical or developmental challenges, they have not let these obstacles get in the way of enjoying one of the greatest games ever played,” said volunteer, Teresa Cookson. “They are dedicated players who inspire their fans each time they come out on the field.”
“Through practice and perseverance they are learning the game of baseball and softball; learning to catch, throw and field. It is impossible not to be drawn into their spirit and enthusiasm once the games begin. They truly are the heart and soul of the league and they are all heroes to their fans, buddies and coaches,” said volunteer, Janet Burton.
As the news about the Challenger Division has spread amongst the Davie Little League and throughout the county, more and more volunteers are stepping up to the plate, wanting to be a part of this experience.
Each challenger division player is paired with a buddy or buddies. These buddies help the Braves during their game by assisting them with batting, running, and fielding. Other Davie League teams have provided buddies for the Southwest team, as well.
“Throughout this season so far, the individuals who have really learned the most about courage, teamwork and perseverance are the kids from other teams and parents who have helped and volunteered,” the volunteers said. “To see all the kids’ smiling faces, whether they are helping or playing, has been a true blessing. The Braves have brought something to Davie County that inspires all of us to work together and support each other. There is no higher purpose.
Burton, member of the Davie Little League Board of Directors, “has done a tremendous job of organizing this Challenger Division,” Cookson said. “She has given so much of her time for practices and games to ensure these children have a great experience.
“Coaches Chuck Rucker and David Crotts have been instrumental in its operation as well. Southwest director, Chuck Deluca, has provided help and support as a mentor in order to get the program off the ground. This program is one that will continue to grow, and the league expects many more to participate next season.”
Davie Little League offers the Challenger Division in addition to its T-ball, Coach Pitch, Minor, Major, Junior and Senior divisions. The goal is to use resources to maintain baseball and softball programs that offer physical and social development for all children.
Come out to the Davie Little League to see all the new improvements to the complex, watch some great games, enjoy a ball park hotdog and have a great time.
Visit www.daviell.com for a schedule of game times. You may contact a board member for more details if you would like to have your child participate in the Challenger Division or any other division the little league has available.