Georgetown’s softball queens parade to ‘We are the champions … of the world’

District 3/Georgetown players, manager and coaches team up for a championship banner picture.

GEORGETOWN – The reigning queens of the Little League Senior Softball world arrived at the Georgetown Little League field Sunday to none other than that famous sports anthem: Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”

With a police and fire engine escort, the Delaware District 3 all-stars paraded through town and then were showered with tributes, recognition and thanks – one week after blanking Asia-Pacific 4-0 in the Little League Senior Softball World Series championship.

“I get to introduce sports teams up a Legislative Hall every once in a while, and I introduce them as state champions,” said State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, the first of several elected officials to speak at the ceremony. “But you’re not state champions. You didn’t just win the state of Delaware, not even the region, not even the United States. Those two words … world champions. Girls, you have made Georgetown and Sussex County and Delaware so proud. We love you and we are thrilled with your accomplishment. You are the best of the best.”

State Rep. Ruth Briggs King presented a small American flag to District 3 team manager Craig Kormanik.

“You carried the USA banner, not just Georgetown and not just the county and not just Delaware,” said Rep. Briggs. “I want to congratulate you, and not only on your win but how you did it and how you conducted yourself. You represented us well. You create a legacy here because there are many other teams from Georgetown that have been honored … you are part of a good program.”

Next elected official to step to the plate: Sussex County Council president Michael Vincent.

“It’s great day for you ladies. When you think back to last spring how many young ladies your age started playing softball; thousands upon thousands … and you won the world championship from Georgetown, Delaware,” said Mr. Vincent. “Great job; we’re proud of you. We’re going to have you at council someday very soon.”

The Aug. 6 championship game marked a striking comeback for the District 3/Georgetown squad, which finally solved the high-rising fastballs tossed by Philippines’ southpaw Kaith Ezra Jaladoni, who fanned 16 in Asia-Pacific’s nine-inning, 1-0 thriller three days earlier.

“Ladies, I was down there for the opening ceremonies and I saw what talent you had. I saw how you had come together as one,” said Georgetown Mayor Bill West. “You girls are champions. You girls have done everything you had to do. You took the challenge when they beat you and brought it back. I could see it in your eyes; you made the decision you were going to hit that girl.”

Mayor West also announced that signs on roadway gateways to Georgetown along with another at the Marvel Museum are undergoing a facelift. Signs will proudly proclaim: 2017 World Champs Senior League Girls Softball.

Eleven of the 14 players participated in the parade: Ryleigh Elliott, Corrin Farris, Kylie Kruger, Jakayla Sample, Taylor Wroten, Sierra Livingston, Kelsey Kormanik, Tori Henry, Madi Parker, Malaurie Noble and Logan Dorey.

Unable to attend due to family vacation commitments: players Jordyn Difava, Kaylah Briddell and Kara Powell.

Manager Kormanik and coaches Tabby Passwaters and Paul Kruger joined the team in the celebration and ceremonies.

“It was a great win for Georgetown Little League, Delaware and believe it or not, the USA,” said Mr. Kormanik. “It was the USA against the Philippines. And there are not many times you can tell everybody or anybody these girls did it against another country. So, it is pretty awesome. Once again, I commend these ladies on a fine job.”

Mr. Kormanik saluted Mindi Davis of Georgetown Little League, the team’s coaches and parents for planting the seeds through devoting countless hours for practice and games over the years.

“Parents … now you see the product of all of your time,” Mr. Kormanik said. “It was such a joy to coach these girls. I was the manager but we won because I surrounded myself with this kind of talent. Tabby Passwaters, unbelievable. And Paul Kruger, unbelievable. When you have that much talent around you it makes you look good.”

Mr. Kormanik also tipped his hat to supporting sponsors: NRG, Mid-Atlantic Electric, Megee Motors (which provided the truck for the parade), Chick Fil A of Camden, Farmers Bank, State Farm/Hunter Emory, Blue Hen Disposal, Paradise Grill, JD Shuckers, Ruth Briggs King, Brian Pettyjohn, Tunnel & Raysor, Pizza King, Pizza Hut and Ad-Art.

“The girls didn’t have to have any out-of-pocket cost while they were there,” said Mr. Kormanik. “We are also able to get them some gifts to take home along with all of the great memories.”

Helen Kruger, affectionately known as Mom Mom Kruger, announced that official championship shirts from the Williamsport, Pa.  home of Little League International will be ordered for the girls, manager, coaches and the team mom (Brie Kormanik), sponsored by Kruger Trailers.

These official shirts can also be purchased by the public. Cost is $20 each.  Contact Kelly Kruger at 745-0120 or Helen Kruger at 745-0078 to order shirts.

In addition to tributes from the state senate, Sen. Pettyjohn brought a proclamation from Gov. John Carney, commending the team on their exemplary showing in representing Delaware.

Plans are in the works for the team to be recognized at Sussex County Council and Delaware’s General Assembly. and there may also be a future invite to Washington, D.C. for a rendezvous with U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper.

Mr. Kormanik ‘s list of thanks included the fans and local media.

“I really appreciate all of the fan support,” said Mr. Kormanik, who then turned to local media in attendance. “These are the local (media) guys that started with us … I think they pushed these girls to play to the best of their ability. I want to thank you guys. I think the girls, once again, when they knew you were out there taking pictures; they looked pretty and they did not want to lose. So, thank you once again.”

A celebration was held after the parade and ceremony at JD Shuckers in Georgetown.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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