Washington C.H. Little League season starts this weekend


Jeston Everhart rares back and fires a pitch for Eagles during their game against First State Bank Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at the Little League complex on Lewis Street.

The Washington C.H. Little League, a prized institution in this community, is set for the 2023 season to get underway Friday and Saturday.

Since the 1950’s (some 70 years ago), Little League baseball has been a source of pride for hundreds, if not thousands of local and area youth who have been a part of this organization. It’s been going on here for three or even four generations. A couple of its alumni include father and son, Jeff and Travis Shaw, who both notably had very successful careers in the Major Leagues.

Times have changed but this community once again has two very good high school baseball programs, due at least in part to some of those players coming up through the Washington Little League system.

Little League is the official program of youth baseball, by which, if your team can win enough games in the postseason (District, State and then Regional) it would be off to Pennsylvania for one of the true treasures of American sports, The Little League World Series.

The Washington C.H. Little League has had its ups and downs since John Meriweather headed up the program for decades.

This year begins a new chapter in the history of the institution and a man who played in the Washington C.H. Little League, Chapman Fluent, begins his first season as president. He will be in charge of seeing that the program operates smoothly and successfully to the betterment of the youth.

Fluent recently spoke with the Record-Herald just days before the season begins on Friday, May 5.

Many of the sponsors have changed or evolved over the years, with some dating back decades, along with several newcomers.

It really takes a community to have a little league baseball program.

“At the end of the season last year, the whole board resigned,” Fluent said. “Quenten Matson had been the president for the last two or three years; his wife was the secretary and had a couple of other jobs.

“Kim Hayes was the treasurer and she had a couple of other positions and her husband, Jake, was the vice-president and had two or three jobs himself.

“It was a four-person board and they tried to run the whole league by themselves and they did a pretty good job of it with just four people and not many volunteers,” Fluent said.

This year there is a new board, headed up by Fluent.

“I’m the president,” Fluent said. “Quenten Matson decided to stay on and help as vice-president this year. I’m not familiar with the paperwork side of it. I just know baseball. There is a lot of (paperwork) behind the scenes.

“My wife, Ashley Fluent, took on the role of secretary and player agent,” Fluent said. “She’s in charge of paperwork, going to the schools and getting principals and administrators to sign off on kids and confirm they go to school there and live in the district.

“She’s also in charge of ordering all the stuff that we need, jerseys, hats, fund-raising bulletin boards, stuff like that,” Fluent said. “We have Lindsey Wright, who is our safety coordinator and our concession stand manager. She makes sure we have volunteers, making sure we stay stocked up.

“As lead safety manager, she’s also in charge of making sure we have first aid kits,” Fluent said.

“We’ve already done a lot of repairs on the bleachers,” Fluent said.

“Shay Havens-White is our social media coordinator,” Fluent said. “Shaun Clark is our treasurer and fund-raising coordinator.

“We’re doing our candy bar fund-raiser right now,” Fluent said. “Our goal is to sell 400 boxes in three and a half weeks. I don’t think we’ll have a problem doing that. Candy bars are only a dollar and you can message us our on Facebook page.” (https://www.facebook.com/WCHLittleLeague)

There are 217 youth taking part in the Washington C.H. Little League program to start the 2023 season, Fluent said.

“Pretty much everybody in this community is going to know someone involved in the league,” Fluent said. “Plus we have about 35 volunteer coaches. We had some people step up this year. We have a total of 18 teams.”

There are six teams each in division: T-ball (ages 4 and 6), coach-pitch (ages 6-8) and Majors (ages 9-12).

“I think our numbers are still fairly good,” Fluent said.

One of the improvements folks will notice is a new concession stand.

As one can glean from this, a lot of people are needed to run a successful Little League program.

Fluent indicated that the league can always use more help and volunteers are welcome.

“Concession stand help is definitely (needed) right now,” Fluent said. Folks can reach out to the league, Fluent said.

As for officials, Fluent said, “Luckily, most of our umpires from last year are returning this year. A couple of them have been with us for three or four years.”

The community is encouraged to come out to the Little League complex on Lewis Street to support the program and the youth of our community.

After some very chilly days of late, the forecast for Friday is for a high of 69 degrees with a slight chance of rain. On Saturday a high of 71 degrees is called for, with partly cloudy skies and a 20 percent chance of rain.