Little League Parade: WHS softball and baseball model and contribute


Credit: Courtesy of Erin Ryan

Athletes from both the high school softball and baseball teams volunteered to help lead the group of Little Leaguers march from Cochituate Field to the middle school. “When parents line the parade instead of watching, I think that’s the best part, especially [for] the little kids because the really little kids get super excited to be part of a parade,” softball coach Erin Ryan said.

Ellie Tyska

While the WHS baseball and softball teams are already halfway through their seasons, the Wayland Little League program recently kicked off the start of its season this past weekend during the Little League Parade at Cochituate Field.

“[It’s] the opening ceremonies for the Little League season for girls softball and baseball,” varsity softball coach Erin Ryan said. “They get everybody together at the middle school, [and] they all partner up. There’s a big group photo, and then we march down to Cochituate for a carnival.”

The event welcomed all baseball and softball players alike, including members of the WHS baseball and softball teams who lent some helping hands for the kids.

“I attended [the parade] because the whole high school baseball and softball teams were there to try and help out in the community,” sophomore varsity baseball player Joe Tardif said. “It’s great to have little and bigger kids there to have some of the Little Leaguers look up to and see what they can become in the coming years for baseball.”

The parade consisted of a variety of activities for the Little League players to participate in such as a bouncy house, T-ball and face-painting. The WHS athletes worked together to make sure that the event ran smoothly and swiftly.

“We worked on handing out the pizza and helping [the kids] on the bouncy house,” sophomore softball player Aydan McGah said.

Along with putting in some additional help, some of the high school athletes actually took part in the parade itself and the walk to Cochituate Field.

“I personally marched [in the parade], and after we marched, we got to Cochituate Field, and I helped out with running the bouncy house,” Tardif said.

Credit: Courtesy of Erin Ryan
The Little League Parade offered many fun games for the kids to participate in resulting in an all-around great event. “My favorite part [about the parade] was just seeing all the kids because I remember that when I was little, [the parade] was always one of my favorite days when I played in the Little League,” sophomore baseball player Joe Tardif said.
Not only did the high school players help out with the community service part of the parade, but the players also got the chance to interact with the Little League players and give them some baseball advice.

“I think that watching the varsity and JV players trying to talk the kids through [the drills] helps them also to learn why I say the things that I say,” Ryan said. “When I tell them to keep their head on the ball, it explains to them why I make them do that and also forces them to teach those things to others, which benefit both the kids and high school players.”

Although this may have been a first time for many of the high school players to help out with the parade, many have already participated in the event when they were younger and were a part of the Little League.

“I’ve been playing softball since I was in third grade and I played in the Little League,” McGah said. “My favorite part [about the parade] was walking in the parade and getting to wave to my family.”

The Little League Parade incorporates both a fun and learning experience for all of the baseball and softball players in Wayland. The coaches of the program hope that the result of this parade will help with the future of these Little Leaguers.

“The idea is that when you play Little League softball and baseball, your goal is to make it to the high school team,” Ryan said. “The Little League coaches and their board think that it’s good for the high school players to be there and for the kids to get exposed to them and see them interact with them, and I agree.”