Rain doesn’t scare Michael Knicely.
Longtime coach for the Rappahannock Athletic Association Rappahannock Culpeper Baseball League, he’s no stranger dealing with the elements.
“This season we’ve had a lot of rains, but we did get the majority of them made up,” RAARCB President, Wayne Dodson said. “The rain today was normal for us here.”
Prior to the start of the ceremony, RAARCB officials honored Kniceley for 25 years of dedication to the league. Whether it was coaching, field preparation or equipment management, Kniceley was a consistent resource that never failed his beloved community. District 9 commissioner, John Kemper echoed the thoughts of coaches, players and parents that have benefited from his contributions.
“For many years this gentleman has been a part of my career, coming up,” Kemper said. “He has been on boards with me, and he has been on committees with me. He has been out and raked numerous fields, and gotten fields ready when we thought we couldn’t get them together.”
Through good and difficult times, Kemper and Kniceley’s relationship has existed for over 27 plus years. They share a common bond of promoting Rappahannock, Culpeper youth baseball. “We’ve been on boards, and committees, and we’ve argued, probably called each other a couple of bad words every once in awhile,” Kemper said with a laugh. “He has been dedicated to the youth in the state of Virginia for a very long time.”
Rather that rest on past laurels, Kniceley focused on the need for better facilities for Culpeper and Rappahannock youth.
“Just like they build new schools, I wish they would build new fields,” Kniceley said. “Because schools are for teachers, but we are teachers out here too.”
Kniceley’s personal satisfaction stems from the kids that he has coached return to the Amissville community as leaders and coaches. “I’ve seen them give back, and come back to coach their kids,” Kniceley added. “It’s a good feeling seeing something you’ve done, and watch it progress.”
In addition, the following players were awarded for their 2017 spring baseball performances: ROOKIES: Orioles MVP- Colt Barron, Coaches Award- Brooke Smith; Bobcats MVP- Silas Wharton
Coaches Award – Xavier Todd; Rangers MVP- Ewen Franti, Coaches Award – Ryan Mullins; MINORS: Angels MVP- Darryl Cropp, Coaches Award -Ben Jenkins; Athletics MVP- Jeremiah Phillips, Coaches Award – Jonas Franti; Nationals, MVP- Hunter Jenkins, Coaches Award – Mason Comer; Redsox MVP- Cody Kitis, Coaches Award – Andrew Storey; Majors: Nationals MVP- Luke Martz, Coaches Award -Roscoe Croushorn.
The final acknowledgment of RAARCB league Division 9 awards were group pictures taken by T-Ball All-Stars, Rookie All-Stars, and 10U All-Stars.
On July 6-9, RAARCB will host the Rookie Babe Ruth State Tournament, at Stuart Field, in Amissville.