St. Charles Herald-Guide

A Field of Dreams

By Pat Smith - May 3, 2006

It is that time of year again when our young children will begin to discover their field of dreams.

Alex Waltz, now 15, has loved the game of baseball since the age of two. “He started with a plastic Coke bottle as his bat and the cap to the bottle as his ball,” said his mother Shannon Waltz. “He loves the game; he has a passion for the game,” adding that the Booster Club has allowed his dream to become a reality at a young age.

The Destrehan Booster Club, whose mission is to create opportunities of aiding, encouraging and supporting recreation in St. Charles Parish, sponsored its annual pre-season Jamboree at the Ormond, Eastbank and Westbank Bridge Parks.

The season opened this week and the games have begun. Children as young as three years old will be hitting homeruns, catching high flies, stealing bases, and learning to love the game.

Neil Legendre, president of the Booster Club, commends the support of community businesses and their efforts to ensure a quality program. “We appreciate the tremendous assistance from all of our local businesses, they have been outstanding this year,” said Legendre. “Their incredible help has allowed us to improve facets of our program.” Valero St. Charles Refinery’s huge donation allowed improvements to the Ormond field.

The Destrehan Booster Club fields approximately 45 baseball and softball teams each season, involving more than 600 Destrehan area children.

Many parents love the opportunities it provides to their young children. Jay Waguespack, who plays tee-ball, and Alli Waguespack, who plays softball, enjoy the game. “It teaches them to be team players,” shared mother Linda Waguespack. “Their coach Duane Foret instills respect for authority, cooperation, discipline and the importance of following rules.”

“My son Alex had the opportunity to play against the Japan team this summer,” said Shannon Waltz, adding, “The program has truly enhanced his growth and development as an athlete and a person.”

Registration for girls ages 15-18 and boys ages 15-19 will be held on May 20. President Legendre encourages all those who may be interested to visit the web site at www.destrehanboosterclub.com for further information and upcoming events.

The Booster Club is stacked with strong volunteers who have committed their time and their talent: Tee-Ball Coordinator - Joe Messina and Michelle Weems, 7-8 Boys Coordinator - Mickey Waltz, 9-10 Boys Coordinator - Paulo Casanova, 11-12 Boys Coordinator - Gary Cooper, 13-14 Boys Coordinator - Neil Legendre, 15-19 Boys Coordinator - Ladell Wills, All Franchise Teams - Neil Legendre (board coordinates this group), 7-8 Girls Coordinator - Paula Duplantis, 9-10 Girls Coordinator - Tiffanie Demers, 11-12 Girls Coordinator - Rachael Hitt, 13-14 Girls Coordinator - Kathy Rome, 15-18 Girls Coordinator - Toni Doell. The season concludes with a post-season parish tournament except for the Tee-ball division, which plays additional games in lieu of a tournament.

Youngsters tee-off in area youth baseball this month.
Photo by Pat Smith
Youngsters tee-off in area youth baseball this month.