By Alicia Dziak
The SYI little league baseball season is wrapping up. On Monday, the Yankees won the Rookie division championships. The team, made up of 7 to 9-year-olds, was coached by Larry Cook, and it was his fourth consecutive championship.
“He is very deserving,” said Heather Holland of Cook, whose son, Reid, plays on the Yankees. “He is dedicated to all those boys and one girl, holding weekly practices in addition to games. He teaches them to stay humble, never give up and believe anything is possible. He is often congratulating kids on the other team when they make a good play or have a good hit. I’ve noticed many coaches in that league that do the same. We are lucky to have coaches like that supporting all the boys and girls.”
During the game, the Yankees, who finished the regular season with an impressive 11-1 record, scored first with a homerun by Bryce Cook, after which the lead changed multiple times. In the top of the 6th, the Yankees retired the Pirates three in a row, sending the game into the last ups for the Yankees who were down 8-6. The Yankees had one runner on with two outs and the next four hitters came through to win the game 9-8 Yankees.
Cook, who previously coached football at Pioneer, as well as rec soccer in Colden and Springville, said this year’s group was a fun one, and that this year’s championship game was the best one yet. “What we’re really proud of is that all 13 of our players can hit,” he said, noting that his team put in 13 practices for their 14 games. Cook commended the dedication of the parents, who were always willing to get their kids there.
He added that his wife, Stephanie, was a big help with the coaching, as were his three assistants, Mark Heichberger, Ryan Holland and Eric Carr.
“We really tried to teach our team sportsmanship and to stay positive and not get down on themselves,” Cook said. “We focus on the whole team aspect.”
Great job to both the Yankees and the Pirates on their great seasons!