I believe Saturday marked just the second time I can remember that I did not attend the annual Havre de Grace 4th of July parade.
I had a great reason. It's called Little League softball.
The fact is this: If the rain I was talking about last week wouldn't have become the problem it was, I and a lot of other people could have enjoyed both, the softball and the parade.
So, it was not to be and for the first time in many years, I was not out of bed and sitting on Union Avenue at 6 a.m. waiting for that magical 8 a.m. hour when parade-goers are allowed to (quote legally) place their chairs blankets, canopies, etc. on the ground.
This is not new to the Havre de Grace parade route, but the rules had been slacking the last few years. Apparently, from reports I've gotten since Saturday, the rules were tightened just a bit and some had their pre-8 a.m. materials removed from its spots. Sorry I missed that.
Anyhow, as I said, I missed the parade because of Little League softball and honestly, if I'm going to miss the parade, I'm glad it was for softball.
As a coach on this year's Havre de Grace Little League Senior Softball All-Stars, I and the others had and have a mission. Part one, winning the District 5 championship, was what we were after Saturday morning in Chesapeake City. Mission accomplished.
We needed three wins to reach our goal and despite it taking 10 days, Saturday's 13-0 win was worth the wait.
In a nutshell, we didn't play games 1 and 2 as well was we should have, but Saturday we put it together. It just started clicking.
This team, Ashley Algard, Rebecca Ashman, Annelise Beer, Presley Brown, Jamie Cooper, Lindsey Fenner, Jenna Kitts, Abby Lilly, Kateri Peters, Megan Thompson and Samara White, is good. I won't say great because we haven't gotten there yet. I won't say special yet either, but we're heading that way.
Part two of that mission begins this weekend, back in Elkton, site of the Maryland State Tournament.
Joining us are champions from District's 6, 7 and 8. Districts 6 and 8 comprise the Eastern Shore to and well below Ocean City. District 7 is southern Maryland.
It's District 7 that has been the nemesis for District 5 twice in the past three years.
So, at stake this weekend and into early next week is a shot a state title and a spot into the East Region tournament in Worcester, Mass. That is the second part of the mission.
Only time will tell if we can accomplish what's laid out before us. I believe we can.
So, if you like softball and have nothing better to do, the tourney gets under way Saturday with Districts 6 and 7 playing at 5 p.m. and Havre de Grace versus District 8 at 7 p.m.