MONTVILLE, NJ – Excitement was in the air last month as the Montville Baseball and Softball Association held its opening day parade and ceremonies.

Thirty-one baseball and softball teams started the parade at Lazar Middle School and came down Church Lane, ending up at the Municipal Fields.

To see a video of the parade, click here:

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Montville Township High School “School of Rock” member Claudia Colatrella opened the ceremony by singing the National Anthem, as members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5481 Tom Mazzaccaro, Joe Coll, Dick Gamsby and Dominick D'Andrea presented the colors.

Co-Chaplain of the NY Mets and Chaplain of the Somerset Patriots Chip Nelson presented the opening prayer. He wished for the players to build relationships and make memories that will last the rest of their lives.

“Thank you, God, for all of the people here,” he prayed. “Let’s enjoy this day you’ve given us, and we are looking forward to an exciting season.”

At the ceremony, the MBSA honored the players of the 10U-12U championship teams from 2015-2017 for winning the Cal Ripken District 7 Northern NJ Championships three years in a row, starting when they were the 10U team. The team also appeared in five straight district finals, and won seven championships, including the Montville Spring Travel League in 2015, the Montville Spring League in 2016, and the Cedar Grove Summer League in both 2015 and 2016.

Brian Hanzl, head coach of all seven championship teams, told TAPinto Montville he considers himself fortunate to have coached a very talented bunch of boys. “We could not have won without the additional guidance of assistant coaches Alex Colatrella and John Probst,” he said. “These boys are very deserving of this recognition. Their hard work and commitment led them to earn each one of those seven championships and I could not be more proud.” 

High school head baseball coach Ian Schwindel spoke to the kids and gave encouraging words after introducing the varsity team.

With a shout of “Let’s play ball!” the season began with a swing.

To see a video of the opening day team photos, click below or view them in the photo gallery:


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