Carlisle Area Little League hosted its first-ever Opening Night Friday on Youth Field at Letort Park in Carlisle. The focus of the ceremony was to debut the league’s new lights at the park, a ceremony that will include recognition of the many businesses and organizations that support Carlisle Area Little league year over year.

This week The Sentinel spoke with Carlisle Area Little League President David Hoover for 5 Questions:

1. What will the impact be with new lights for your Little league facility?

A. The lights will be a great opportunity for us to play more baseball games during the regular season, we are very limited with the number of fields we have. We always try to schedule between 15-18 games for all of our teams, sometimes weather doesn't cooperate and making up missed games is always tough because of the daylight hours available. Having the lights will allow us to play additional games. Also, the lights will aid in hosting All-star tournament games.

2. How hard was it to pull the project together?

A. Musco Lighting was great to work with, they walked us through every step. Carlisle Parks and Rec along with the Carlisle Borough were very accommodating as well. The hardest part was raising the funds. We had several fundraisers over the past 1 1/2 years, our Annual Golf Tournament is our largest league fundraiser and we have been very fortunate, not only for this project, but all of our fundraising efforts to have the support of the community. The local business community and social and fraternal organizations are always there for us.

3. What kind of reaction of you had from your youth players about the lights?

A. The kids are fired up, they're excited to have an opportunity to play baseball under the lights. Listening to them talk about what it'll be like is well worth the effort. each year we interlock with other area Little Leagues and they've played under the lights in Newville, Shippensburg & Dillsburg, but it is special to play on your home field under the lights.

4. What impact does Red land’s run to the Little League World Series have on youth baseball in the area?

A. It was nice to see a local team achieve so much last year. Each spring all Little Leaguers dream of playing in Williamsport, the players from Red Land Little League should be proud of their accomplishments on the field. Making it to Williamsport is the ultimate goal at the end of a very long season, but Little League is so much more than that, it's about smiling faces, friendships, self confidence and life lessons. If the increased visibility, because of their run, gets more kids interested in baseball, which in turn allows more kids to experience the valuable life lessons being taught by managers, coaches, and administrators, the impact is huge.

5. What does the future hold for Carlisle Area Little League?

A. The future is bright, no pun intended. Our enrollment numbers have risen steadily over the past several years and we will continue to work with the community to provide a quality facility for the youth to enjoy for years to come. We are looking forward to an exciting season of baseball and invite the community to come out and enjoy a game or two under the lights.

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