Loading...
bless your pitiful hearts in Greenville for having to suffer your city attorney that is so inept he told a neighborhood...

Players get new aunts, uncles

Jackson-7.jpg
1 of 3

Greenville North State "aunt" Carol Zysset marks on JoeJoe Byrne's jacket as Ashton Byars looks on during a batting practice session Sunday in Williamsport, Pa.

Jackson-6.jpg
Jackson-9.jpg
Loading…

BY RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — There can never be enough team moms in youth sports.

At the Little League World Series, local “aunts and uncles” serve as extensions of team moms. Part of this is because of intent by Little League International to keep the players away from outside distractions, especially at their on-site living area called The Grove.

There is one aunt and one uncle assigned to each of the 16 teams. For the Greenville North State squad that has won its first two games by a combined 22-0 score, they have Williamsport natives Doug Alexander and Carol Zysset.

Responsibilities for these volunteers include part-time security guard, part-time media liaison and part-time schedule coordinator.

Their job is serious because it is based around security, but they also make time to have fun with the kids.

“I’ve learned that my aunt has a pet parrot,” North State catcher Jacob Calder said of Zysset, who is in her 17th year in an aunt role. “You learn all kinds of interesting things about them as you go along.”

Because hats, T-shirts and other team apparel can be purchased at gift shops, there are three criteria required for players to keep up with at the World Series complex and especially every time they leave or enter The Grove: their team hat, a special wristband and special lanyard.

It is all-business when it comes to these three items. Alexander and Zysset take pride in the fact that they have not had any scares of losing track of a kid despite the players’ often-rambunctious ways at their age.

“You could steal one of these (lanyards) if you found one on the ground and put it on,” Zysset said. “You can buy a hat, so the thing that really identifies them is their wristband and that’s why we are harping on them all the time.

“Ultimately, we are responsible for them and I haven’t lost a kid in 17 years and he hasn’t lost a kid in 15 years. We are not going to start today.”

Alexander is a Little League umpire and Zysset a league administrator in the area. They have their own families, so their aunt and uncle status is strictly limited to the Little League World Series.

When the Greenville team takes batting practice at the part of the complex furthest away from The Grove, Zysset collects their lanyards and logs notes on her clipboard. She also makes sure clothes don't get mixed up.

In an activity so ingrained with baseball moms, she seeks out dirt spots in uniforms and helps the players look as fresh as possible for the ESPN cameras.

“Aunt Carol is just like a mom,” Greenville coach Brian Fields said. “They are in charge of getting our laundry done and telling us where we need to be and who needs interviews or what time we are going to a ball game or we have lunch. Also, they are in charge of the rooms and they make them straighten their rooms before we head out somewhere.”

There is a random draw by the hosts to determine which team they are assigned to each year. Zysset and Alexander have been paired together for 15 years, collecting all kinds of gifts from International and American teams along the way.

They said every team is different and every coach handles the bustle of the LLWS differently. Fields and North State are appreciative of their versatile duo’s insight in Williamsport.

“They know the place and know how everything flows,” Fields said. “It’s just nice knowing that we have two people ready to do what’s needed to do if we need anything.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Sports

October 23, 2019

The South Central volleyball faced one of its biggest challenges of the season Tuesday night in the semi-finals of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference tournament.

The top seeded Falcons escaped a tight match against four-seed J.H. Rose, 3-2 (22-25, 25-15, 25-2325-15 and 15-8).

SC saw a big…

102319_gdr_scvolleyball-14.jpg

October 23, 2019

This year's East Carolina basketball media guide features all 16 players on the cover, only Jayden Gardner and Seth LeDay as returning scholarship players.

It's a situation maybe as unique as any nationwide in college basketball. With 11 new scholarship players, there is a universal mission to…

101119_gdr_ecubasketball-1.jpg

October 22, 2019

Still winless in the American Athletic Conference and fresh off an encouraging outing at super-talented UCF, East Carolina's football team is preparing to face South Florida for its most important game yet this season.

First-year Pirate coach Mike Houston voiced his usual line Tuesday during his…

East Carolina UCF Football-8

October 22, 2019

As the regular season enters its final phase area football teams find themselves scattered throughout postseason projections. A few teams, such as J.H. Rose, Ayden-Grifton and South Central all picked up big wins to bolster their records. Check out which players were the best of the best last week.…

101919_gdr_scfootball-2.jpg

October 21, 2019

East Carolina quarterback Holton Ahlers achieved his first 300-yard passing game of this season with 313 yards on Saturday night in a 41-28 loss at UCF. His previous high was 210 versus William & Mary.

What ECU coach Mike Houston thought aided in that was that Ahlers rushed for 79 yards…

East Carolina UCF Football-5

October 21, 2019

SMU's offensive production Saturday in a 45-21 football win over Temple included quarterback Shane Buechele passing for 457 yards and six touchdowns, and receiver Reggie Roberson caught nine passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns.

But when the American Athletic Conference announced its weekly…

East Carolina UCF Football-4

October 21, 2019

East Carolina volleyball’s 15th win of the season was a five-set victory.

ECU rallied from a two-set deficit at Tulane on Sunday, finishing off a 3-2 triumph (14-25, 23-25, 25-17, 29-27, 15-8) for the Pirates to improve to 5-1 in five-set matches. They won for the fourth time when dropping…

030219ECUbaseball-11.JPG

October 21, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla.

The UCF student section was mostly empty for the second-half kickoff between the Knights and East Carolina at Spectrum Stadium on Saturday night.

On homecoming weekend and likely with other social plans on the forefront of their minds, UCF’s students had plenty of reason to…

East Carolina UCF Football-3

October 21, 2019

With Appalachian State still undefeated and N.C. State still scuffling, the real intrigue for college football in this state is which shade of blue is best.

Duke or North Carolina?

It will get settled on the field this Saturday in Chapel Hill. For now, UNC gets the nod because its impressive close…

APTOPIX North Carolina Virginia Tech Football-1

October 20, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. — East Carolina's defensive success against UCF during the second half Saturday night, which was a major bright spot in a 41-28 loss, was a mix of adjustments and passion.

Even in allowing 41 points, just below UCF's season average, ECU took pride in outscoring the Knights…

East Carolina UCF Football
379 stories in Sports. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 38
        Next Page»   Last Page»