Palmetto High School baseball head coach Danny Smith believes the game is about more than winning or losing, it is about being a part of the community and preparing players for a possible future in the sport.
“We want people to come out and really feel like they are part of the program,” said Smith. “Stop by the dugout and meet the players and bring the little ones. We will show the kids around and sign autographs.We never turn anyone away.”
The Blue and White game is the official launch of baseball season for Palmetto and, according to parent and volunteer Martha Levey, it is an event that the Village, the team and the school look forward to.
“It is the inauguration of baseball season for the community and everyone really looks forward to the event,” said Levey. “The players are all introduced on the field in full uniform with parents, dignitaries and school officials present. It is a wonderful tradition and a great way to kick off the season.”
In addition to promising young athletes ready for friendly competition on the field, classic barbeque dishes will be available, with entertainment provided by the Palmetto Marching Band, the color guard, the dancing Shatonettes, and of course the school’s cheerleading squad.
Coach Smith says players to watch this season include senior pitcher Brandon Kacer, one of the top players in Miami-Dade County; junior second baseman Michael Wall, who is already being scouted by college recruiters; and shortstop Riley Delgado, who started playing baseball when he was in the eighth grade and could be an all county player this year.
“These are great kids to coach because they come from very engaged families and are motivated; very teachable,” said Smith. “I tell them ‘I want you to come out here and think baseball, baseball, baseball’ and if that doesn’t work out for your professional future, ok, go on to medical school.”
The Blue and White game is free and open to the public. Barbeque tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for kids.
For more information, go to www.palmettopanthersbaseball.com.