East Hartford Little League season begins
By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Apr. 20, 2012
In the second game of the season T & J Auto and Anna's Pizza, both Little League minor teams, met on the field at Gorman Park in East Hartford. Little League season officially begins with opening ceremonies April 28, and teams from T-ball to major have a full roster of games ahead.
Art Tipton is the coach for T & J Auto, which includes players who range from 8 to 11 years old. As coach of the minor league team, Tipton said the young players have a real desire to learn and to get better, and a lot of enthusiasm for the game. Tipton said many of the young players are returning from last year, as are the coaches.
This year's sponsors include Founders Plaza Sunoco, Anderson Jewelers, Bank of America, Brothers Oil, JC Penney, Lewis Paving, New Alliance Bank, Sal's Glass, T & J Autobody, Sterling Manor and Shoprite.
The Little League season is a commitment not only for the young players, but for the coaches as well. The teams practice or play a game twice a week, once during the week and once on the weekend. “It's a lot,'' said Eric Dawkins, who has coached for the past three years. His team this year is Founders Plaza Sunoco, also a minor league team. According to the team's website, Little League is about much more than learning how to play baseball.
“The heart of Little League is what happens between the adult manager/coach and player. It is the manager more than any other individual who controls the situation in which the players may be benefited. Improving the level of leadership in this vital area must be a continuing effort,'' says Little League literature.
And that's how Dawkins sees his role. “To me, this is about respect,'' he said. “What I do is teach them respect – how to respect each other and how to get long and to work together.''