Nearly three dozen volunteers trimmed trees, reworked infields, raked leaves, pressure washed a building, and cleaned out the press boxes, getting the Solanco Little League complex ready for opening day.
Players in the league's 25 teams will begin practice this week. The older players will start training on Wednesday; the younger ones will take to the field early next week.
Special To The Chronicle – What a difference one year can make. Due to the snow, the frozen ground and then the “slushy” ground in 2015, the JV Mules did not set foot on a baseball diamond till the first league game with Ephrata in April. Needless to say the lack of quality practice time on the field did not bode well for the junior Mules as errors and poor offensive production made for a long season.
Solanco's JV softball team opened the season with a 16-0 triumph over visiting Pequea Valley in five innings last Thursday.
Freshman Skyla Townsley earned the win and allowed two hits and two walks while whiffing eight.
Solanco softball coach Brett Miller knew his relatively inexperienced squad might struggle at the start of the season.
He's also confident they'll learn from their mistakes and bounce back strong.
Miller said the Mules made too many mistakes in an 8-4 season-opening loss at Pequea Valley last Thursday afternoon.
Poor defense prevented the Solanco baseball team from winning a second straight game to open the season.
The Mules made nine errors in a 5-4 loss at Wilson Saturday.
"We did struggle," Solanco coach Tom Fish said. "We gave that one away, to be sure."
On Tuesday evening, March 8, members of the Solanco Girls Lacrosse Club got help from members of Millersville University's varsity team.
The training has become an annual event, SGLC head coach Doug Dalrymple said.
"They come in during their spring break to give our girls some help with their skills," he said.
Solanco's baseball team isn't accepting average.
Coming off a 10-10 record (8-8 league), the Mules didn't waste any time preparing for the 2016 campaign.
Since January 2, pitchers and catchers have met weekly. The Mules have nine coaches to allow for more individual instruction.
The Solanco softball team is poised to have another successful season.
Last year, the Mules finished 12-7 and captured the Section Two title. Senior pitcher Kalyn Burger was the workhorse last year, recording 11 victories and compiling a 1.87 ERA in 116 1/3 innings pitched. "Kalyn has been working through some injuries but that will be resolved soon," said Miller.
The Solanco boys track and field team might not have to wait 21 years to win another section title.
The Mules ended a long drought last season and are the favorites to repeat, coach Ivan Haines conceded.
"I think we are," he said after a pause. "We're hoping to win it again."
Troy Miller and Billy Cooney will once again spark Solanco.