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Volunteers helped make tourney go

The Ironton Little League has brought state championships to Ironton in the past by winning titles in 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1995.

Last week the Ironton Little League brought the state championship to Ironton in a different way.

The Ironton Little League was the proud host of the 2005 Junior League Ohio State Tournament. The tournament started on July 22 and finished up on July 26 and all games were played at the Ironton Little League complex.

Ten teams participated in the tournament and came from all different areas of the state. In addition to Fairland, the local district representative and eventual state champion, the other teams represented the following leagues: Athens County, Ashtabula, Boardman, Bucyrus, Indian Valley, Elyria East, Maumee, New Miami and Eaton.

As a member of the Ironton Little League board of directors, I wanted to take the time to thank those who helped make this event such a big success. Without the support of our great community, pulling off such a task would be next to impossible.

The first group to be recognized is the Ironton Little League board of directors who were able to help out in every way possible. These people had to show off hidden talents that ranged from grilling and cooking to umpiring or field maintenance.

Those members volunteering throughout the state tournament include: John Jones, Dee Jones, Jim Kratzenberg, Melanie Mahlmeister, Don Vermilyea, John Holtzapfel, Howard Miller, Greg Bryant, Shawn Jones, Steve Lewis, Dwayne Summers and Paul Kuehne. It has been my pleasure to work with these individuals throughout the year as well as during the state tournament.

A big "thank you" goes out to several groups in the community for their donations of manpower and resources.

The Ironton Elks club and the Knights of Columbus made donations to make our tournament banquet a huge success as well as giving us a chance to provide other services to our out of town guests.

The league would also like to thank Bob Linn Sporting Goods, especially Jeff and Mary Linn, for their donations and constant support of our league and our kids.

The Ironton City Schools provided several items that proved invaluable. The orange and black backdrops hung from our fences made our fields look great. The schools also provided tarps in case of inclement weather.

Speaking of weather, the Ironton City Schools provided huge fans as well as sprinklers to help keep our guests and volunteers cool when the temperatures reached triple digits on Monday and Tuesday.

It's great having a school system so supportive of our youth even when they are not in session. A special "thank you" goes out to Terry Parker and Dave Lawless for their assistance.

The league would like to recognize Glen Seagraves and District 11 who supplied umpires for the tournament. There was also a group of three umpires who traveled from Huber Heights to help umpire games over the weekend. All umpires work as volunteers and are truly appreciated for the time they give, especially in the hot weather conditions encountered during our tournament.

Jim Mahlmeister is the City of Ironton recreation director.