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Season comes to a close in Jonesborough

On June 22, Jonesborough Little League hosted closing ceremonies for participating children and their families.
The weekend event signaled the end to what has become a spring and summer staple for the Oliver family.
The Olivers, including mom Jama, dad J.G., 6-year-old James, 4-year-old Jonathan, and 1-year-old Owen, have spent the better part of the past four months at the fields of Persimmon Ridge Park.
“With two boys (James and Jonathan) playing, we spent three to four nights a week at the ballpark,” Jama Oliver said. “In one sense, we were fortunate to have several of the boys’ games on the same nights. James would play at 6:30 and Jonathan at either 6 or 7. This, did, however, make it hard for us to help out with both teams.”
This season, James played for the Seadogs in the Instructional League, and Jonathan played for Alabama in T-ball.
Jama served as a “dugout mom” for both of her sons’ teams, while J.G. kept stats for the Seadogs throughout the season and stepped in as team manager when needed.
“Being ‘dugout mom’ involves keeping track of bats, gloves, hats, helmets, and catcher’s gear, as well as keeping track of batting order, keeping the kids focused and ready to play, and taking care of bathroom breaks,” Jama Oliver said. “Things can get hectic, but I looked forward to every night I got to spend in those dugouts.”
Despite being too young to play, even little Owen found a way to be involved in Little League.
“Often I would have our 1-year-old in his stroller in the dugout with me,” Jama Oliver explained. “The kids from both teams were fabulous with him and called him their mascot.”
For families like the Olivers who are involved in Little League, being busy is just part of the game.
“Preparation for games would begin at least an hour before,” Jama Oliver said. “Once we got to the fields, we would make our way either to the T-ball field or the Instructional League fields for warmups.
“Because I helped with both Alabama and the Seadogs, I also had my two uniforms to keep up with. One parent commented that I must have a phone booth hidden beside the fields so I could make my quick change before heading to the next game.”
The Olivers weren’t the only family with multiple children playing this season.
“We would often cross paths with other moms and dads running between games,” Jama Oliver said.
Last weekend’s closing ceremonies rewarded the kids for a great season, but also showed parents like the Olivers the real reasons why being involved in Little League is worth all the effort.
“My husband and I loved being so actively involved, and our boys made some great friends while learning to play one of our favorite sports,” Jama Oliver said. “Our boys didn’t keep up with their wins and losses — although they will certainly never forget receiving the game ball. Win or lose, we all had fun, and we will certainly be playing and coaching Little League in the future.”