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Region Awards Program Honors Five Individuals for 2017

Posted by Matt Weber on Sep 06 2017 at 05:00PM PDT
The fourth year of the Southeastern Region Awards Program handed out five awards, the most for a single year. These individuals were nominated by a fellow volunteer, spouse or friend and chosen from a deep pool of candidates. Three of the winners were honored during the Little League Baseball Regional Tournament with the other two to be honored later this year.

The awards winners are, Tiffany Schmitz, Challenger Division Volunteer of the Year; Michelle Grubb, Volunteer of the Year; Kobe Tamaski, Good Sport of the Year; John Mashburn, Golden Mask (Umpire); and Candace Lucas, Parent of the Year.

The 2017 Challenger Division Volunteer of the Year award winner is Tiffany Schmitz. Northwest Forsyth American Little League in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Thanks to Tiffany’s efforts and desire, Northwest Forsyth began a Challenger Division in 2016 after Tiffany expressed her desire to help the league launch a Challenger Program in 2015.

According to league president Chris Swink, this addition to the league has been its biggest improvement to date. All the players, families and volunteers involved with the division speak very highly of the division and what it brings to not only the league, but the community. Tiffany’s efforts have led to the desire to bring the Challenger Program to other leagues in the area so all children of Forsyth County will have a chance to experience this amazing program. Without the effort of Tiffany, this league would be incomplete.

The 2017 Good Sport of the Year is 12-year-old Kobe Tamaski of Pioneer Little League of Columbus, GA.

Known for his smile and great personality, Kobe is very supportive of his teammates as well as those on the opposing team. A player with the league since four-years-old, he has befriended multiple players through the city that in neighboring local leagues.

The spirit Kobe brings to Pioneer is very infectious, which is spread through his high fives to all players, regardless of their team association after great plays, including home runs. When a player is hit by a pitch, he is first to ensure that the player is ok and encouraging and lifting the player’s spirit. Kobe loves and respects the game and is a great Little Leaguer on and off the field.

The 2017 Volunteer of the Year is Michelle Grubb of Abingdon Little League of Virginia District 1.

A board member for the past four years, Michele has worked tirelessly to develop a very profitable concession stand. Although limited by a small space, she has received accolades for the quality, selection and affordability of the concession offerings. Thanks to her hard work, the concession stand has enjoyed profit margins that range between 90 and 110 percent which in turn has allowed the league to do many things for the Little Leaguers of Abingdon that it otherwise could not do.

Michelle also has spearhead efforts to provide a safe environment at Abingdon Little League by ensuring properly stocked first aid kits are on site and medical personnel is available at the league during big events.

The 2017 Golden Mask Award Winner is John Mashburn of Johnson City Major Little League and Tennessee District 5.

John has been a 48-year Little League umpire. Throughout his time as an umpire, he has worked hard to earn Regional and World Series recommendations and has been dedicated to umpiring. His dedication to the youth of his area has not gone unnoticed as he has been inducted into the Parks and Recreation Hall of Fame and had a baseball field named in his honor.

Unfortunately, he can no longer umpire after being diagnosed with a disease that impacted his eyes and vision. However, this has still not stopped him from contributing as best as possible, from assisting with recruitment and training of umpires to representing his local league and district.

The 2017 Parent of the Year is Candace Lucas of Venice Little League from Florida District 16.

As the Team Mom Coordinator for the league, she spends countless hours assisting the league as a team mom for two teams, serving as a board member, working within the concession stand and being at the forefront of safety implementation.

She leads by example at Venice Little League by being a team mom for the two teams her children are part of. The immeasurable hours spent behind the scenes, whether that be at home or at the fields are vital to the league.

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