Spring has arrived and the Jericho baseball season is upon us once again. The Jericho Athletic Association (JAA) tradition of having an opening day baseball parade was welcomed this year with a beautiful day. On Saturday morning, April 9, over 700 baseball participants, along with their coaches and parents, marched from the Milleridge Inn to the Jackson School baseball fields with all future major leaguers in their colorful baseball uniforms.
The highlight speakers were Jill Schnitt and Dan Palmieri, both outstanding Jericho High School athletes, as well as outstanding academic students, who are in their senior year and will be off to college in the fall. Both Jill and Dan spoke about their positive experiences when they participated in the Jericho Athletic Association sports program. Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Anthony Macagnone and Councilwoman Rose Marie Walker both provided a warm welcome to all in attendance, as well as support for what good sportsmanship and teamwork is all about.
Jack Schnitt, JAA president, thanked everyone for coming out and being part of the opening day parade. He extended his gratitude to the Jericho School Board, along with the school administration's continued support of JAA's various sport programs. He also noted a special thanks to Bill Coyle, JAA director of baseball, and Gary Strauss, the baseball program's new president, for their hard work in organizing the baseball season. New to the Association this year is the Kindergarten Baseball Instructional League under the guidance of Andrew Marshall.
Jack also noted the hard work of everyone on the Jericho Athletic Association's executive board, the baseball division heads and the 150 plus coaches who volunteer their time and energy for the kids. Through these individuals' tireless efforts and dedication to the community, the Jericho Athletic Association provides a wonderful sport program for the children of the Jericho School District.
After the traditional first ball of the season was thrown out by Elementary School Principals Jeff Ratner and Marty Weissman and caught by honoree catchers Lauren Weiner and Jonathan Davis, representing all the children in the program, the JAA served up hot dogs and soda.