Sunday Aug 16 2009
Crowd gathers in Granite Bay to support the local Little League all-stars
By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
Granite Bay Golf Club hosts more than 200 Lakeside fans
Sunday afternoon in Granite Bay, fans trickled in early at the Granite Bay Golf Club banquet room. Family, friends and fans of the Lakeside Little League baseball team gathered to watch their team compete in the Little League Western Region championship in San Bernardino. The banquet room, normally reserved for private members, was rife with a sea of balloons, banners and fans decorated in support of the local team. As if it were one large holiday get-to-together, each table had a large family sprinkled with loyal fans dressed in green. Member relations director Trish Sandbach and catering director Heidi Robinson were approached by former Lakeside President Ken Lynch just one day before the game was set to air on ESPN2. In preparation, Sandbach reserved 225 seats for those attending the party and they were quickly filled. “We’re a large private club and when our members call and want to do something we’ll do what we can to make it happen,” said Sandbach. “It’s for the Granite Bay and Loomis communities to be able to come together and support their teams.” As Lakeside went down three runs in the first inning supporters grew even louder. Lynch stood with fellow Lakeside board members and former board members intent on a comeback. “You’ve got to win a lot of games to get to where they are,” said Lynch. “We’ve had a very successful league this year, but these boys playing on the field are what did it.” “People were pressuring me to have it at my house, but I didn’t think I could have two hundred people to my house. I knew if we got the word out there the community would support it.” The broadening success of Lakeside Little League also includes the addition of girls softball in the last few years. Huddled at their table were Lakeside softball players Claire Ellinwood (freshman at Granite Bay) and Nicole Evans (8th grade at Cavitt), who are friends with the boys on the Lakeside team. “Our friends are playing and we’re here for them and want to support them,” said Evans. “Everybody’s being really supportive and it’s pretty cool that they’re on TV.” “We’re a fairly small community so when one sports team does well everyone tends to cheer them on and follow,” said board member and friend to the team Terri Wischmann. Wischmann was among a large contingent that had no family ties to the game, but were part of a larger showing of the Granite Bay community. Board member and head of fundraising for Lakeside, Jeff Corah, stood with the other heads of the league at the back of the room in anticipation a comeback win, though it did not turn out that way. “We’re just here to support the team,” said Corah. “If we can’t be down there then we’d rather be here with everyone watching the game. If you can’t be there then this is the place to be. Our goal is just to get together to watch the team and root them on, win or lose.” Lakeside answered the early offense of the team from Southern California, but could not hold on to the end, losing 11-4 and seeing a 20-2 all-star campaign come to an end just short of a trip to the Little League World Series. To these supporters, the disappointment of the loss on the field is short-lived, but the memories of a special summer will live on for a long time.