Everyone knows it's supposed to be 40 degrees with sideways rain on NYO Tryout Weekend. Not this year. Coaches, parents and players, some in shirtsleeves and shorts, soaked up the sun as late-January temperatures nudged above 60 degrees. A purist would say new coaches have not earned their first stripes until they live through a 'true' Tryout Weekend. But no one was complaining this year.
In the gym at Warren T. Jackson Elementary (little ones are spared the outdoor tryout), six-year-old William Mastella, a pre-schooler at Christ the King, stepped into the batter's box with the confidence of his favorite player, Boston Red Sox star David (Big Papi) Ortiz. William, his brother, Thomas, and parents attended a Red Sox game at Fenway Park where William and his dad, Peter, caught a foul ball. Although William's mom, Julia McConnell, said William had fretted earlier, 'Mom, what if I don't make a team?' William said he was not nervous. 'It's fun,' he said. 'You can hit, throw and run.' Even if every child were not guaranteed a position on a team, William had nothing to worry about. He drove a hard line-drive up the middle, caught two pop-ups and fielded cleanly the grounders that were hit his way.
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