March 20, 2009

IT AIN'T KICK THE CAN, BUT IT'LL DO:

'Throw that cheese' (Daniel Hartill, March 20, 2009, SunJournal)

Despite the sandlot rules and the tiny, plastic snap of the bat, Wiffle ball is serious stuff.

"You have no idea how much this means to me," 16-year-old Aaron Olsen said, squirming Thursday as he waited for his at-bat in a tied semifinal game. "I'd rather do this than the prom."

Praise and good-natured trash talk mixed and echoed across the Lewiston High School gym, where the intramural sport was nearing a run.

"Throw that cheese!" someone yelled from the bleachers to pitcher Conroy LeBlond of team Notorious.

A moment later the plastic ball dodged the head of the yellow bat, ending the inning. As Notorious left the gym floor, LeBlond shared a grin with Olsen, his opponent from team 3 Fresh 3 Clean.

"Nice pitch," Olsen said, his nerves on pause.

For a month, the two teams and 10 others have been meeting for games after each school day.

About 90 kids have built the informal sport - played in the March doldrums between winter and spring sports - into a thriving contest.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 20, 2009 5:54 AM
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