OLD TOWN – After months of patience, Old Town Little League opened its Majors season this week; an event that has become a yearly tradition for the Mccannell family.
Picture this: the final half inning of the game, few pitches away from securing a win, and the manager hands the ball to her youngest son.
This may sound unique, but it’s nothing new for the Mccannell family.
“I just wanted to throw strikes and it’s kind of hard to forget that when they’re in the dugout just yelling ‘throw strikes, throw strikes, throw strikes,” said youngest brother Jake Mccannell.
The Mccannell family has been involved in Old Town Little League for more than a decade, staring when their oldest son Tyler was just five years old. Now, all four boys have donned the Kiwanis team uniform. A bond that has connected the family for the past thirteen years.
“It’s pretty difficult to balance overall, they all have different personalities, and different mood swings…we’re trying to keep it as fun as possible but it is still competition and they all still want to win,” said dad and assistant coach Shane Mccannell.
For a number of reasons, this season has been different than years past: a mid-July start date, masks in the dugout, and social distancing required for fans and players. After the spring baseball season was lost due to COVID-19, any chance to be around the game is better than none.
“They just want to have fun, I played in this league last year, it was really fun, and they’re missing out because of COVID, so I want to make it fullest of them,” said second-youngest brother and former OTLL Majors player Alex Mccannell.
Shonna Mcconnell is not just mom to four, and Kiwanis team manager, she is also acting president of the league. Due diligence by her and the rest of league leadership is the reason that her kids, and the whole league have the chance to play in Old Town this summer. “The city council, the attorneys, and the people we consulted, they agreed it was safe just because we are local,” said Shonna.