BRISTOL, Conn. -- On the evening of Thursday, July 24, after the Cumberland American All-Stars had clinched the R.I. Little League Major Division (11-12) Tournament championship with a thrilling 8-7 victory over gritty Cranston Western, manager Dave Belisle’s crew lined up for the usual post-game handshakes with its foe.
Gary Bucci’s players couldn’t have been all too happy with the loss, but both teams’ athletes were seen high-fiving each other. It was the consummate exhibition of sportsmanship at its best.
When asked how he broaches such a subject with his young men, Belisle called it an interesting question, then went on to say, “Honestly, I’m pretty lucky to have such good kids whose parents have already promoted the notion of being a good sport and how to act. These boys have been brought up pretty well.
“As coaches, we try to keep them in line, especially given different situations, different calls, during a game,” he added. “If we don’t like an umpire’s call as coaches, we have to make sure we act as we’d want them to. It is what it is. An umpire is calling a game, and a player is playing the game, and it’s his job to make the call as he sees it.
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