FA softball team 2021

The 2021 Fryeburg Academy softball team is a good mixture of veterans and enthusiastic newcomers eager to make their mark on the diamond in the playoffs which are scheduled to begin today. (LLOYD JONES PHOTO)

I don’t know if there is a magic formula or a checklist of events that has to happen, but when the right components exist it is a glorious time.

I am referring to when a high school sports team and a community connect for a season. I have experienced it as a player, as a coach and as a fan, and I have come to the conclusion that there is one basic ingredient that must exist, That ingredient is love. Just like a successful marriage, there must be love.

The Fryeburg Academy softball nine is experiencing this special bond this season. It is born out of a tradition of excellence Fryeburg softball has built over the years, dating back to the days of Hannah and Dani Hill.

Fryeburg, the No. 1 seed in the Western Maine Class B playoffs, is scheduled to host No.16 Yarmouth on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

Many players have stolen our hearts over the years, and this year is no different.

There is a special love that exists between the Skipper (Fred Apt) and his players, and the players and their Skipper. That same love exists between the fans and the players, and between the players and their fans. It could not occur without these components.

Every home game the community comes out to support the team. The mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles take the same spots around the outside of the fence. When ground balls are turned into outs, and flyballs are caught there is a warm round of applause for the event, as well as for a hit, a home run, a run scored or a strikeout recorded.

In every game, there is a belief that good things will happen, and the journey that is the season will continue on the right path. Every player throughout the season improves their play through practice and coaching.

Every fan draws more and more in love as the players exhibit their improved skills.

At the games this year I have seen Sue Hill, who says she just loves softball, and I have seen Jackie and Rick Buzzell, who told me of two young coaches who are working with young outfielders after each once held down the centerfield position during their playing days.

They are so famous as Fryeburg athletes I can refer to them by just first name, and everyone knows who they are, although it is frowned upon in journalists circles. They are of course Mackenzie (Buzzell) and Brylie (Walker Young). See you at the games. Go Raiders!

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