Friday begins more than a week of youth league baseball.
Teams from Austintown, Boardman, Cortland, Warren and others all converge on Waddell Park for the annual Niles Youth Baseball League tournament.
Teams with players ages from 7 to 12 are playing there through July 15 or 16, depending on the weather.
Baseball is a rite of passage for most children - well, it was when I was growing up.
Throwing catch with your father, finding a pickup game at a local ballfield or playing a game of $3 where a pop fly was a $1, one hopper was 50 cents and a grounder a quarter.
The crack of the wooden bat was sweet, just don't hit the trademark.
Now, it's the ping of the composite / aluminum bats.
These kids are there to play American's pastime - baseball.
Since today is July 4, do your patriotic duty Friday and catch some great baseball at Waddell Park.
Speaking of our youth, The Ohio Blast teams took first and second, respectively, at a ASA Eastern National Qualifier held in Liberty June 8-10.
McDonald's Megan Ward, Sydney Vukovich and Brianna Callow were on the 10U Ohio Blast won first in their age division, meanwhile Rachel Ward of McDonald was on the 12U Ohio Blast team.
Kudos to those Blue Devils players.
Back in Niles, Red Dragon players Shawn Crowley, J.C. Pierko, Tyler Hinton and Noah Arvin, along McDonald Allan Coviello helped the Niles Area All-Stars U17 boys team win the Westlake Invitational Soccer Tournament over Memorial Day weekend.
Congrats to this solid NAAS team.
The Niles Times is currently looking for your help in submitting youth sports stories and pictures for our publication. The Niles Times covers the Niles, McDonald and Mineral Ridge areas.
Please submit photos from any youth sport. We are also looking for guest columnists to share their opinions on sports happenings around the Niles, Mineral Ridge and McDonald areas.
To submit pictures and /or stories for The Niles Times, please send them to jvargo@trib
today.com or epuskas@
tribtoday.com by 6 p.m. on Mondays. Or, go to the virtual newsroom at www.tribtoday.com. To do that, log on to the site and then click on the button that says "submit news." From there, click on Niles Times on the left side of the page.