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MYSA starts 26th season with two-day opener at Big League Dreams
MYSA opening day
Flanked by teammates and coaches, East Union’s Mikayla Simpson (front, middle, left), Lathrop’s Maci De Costa (12) and Manteca’s Nayellys Torres celebrate after throwing out ceremonial first pitches for Manteca Youth Softball Association at Big League Dreams on Monday. - photo by Dave Campbell

Manteca Youth Softball Association kicked off its 26th season Monday night with the first day of opening ceremonies at Big League Dreams.

MYSA has 26 teams for ages running from 4 to 14 (and not in high school), and this will be the third season for Scott Scharmann as president.

“I think this is great,” Scharmann said. “Girls sports has been notoriously overlooked and sometimes gets the not-as-nice uniforms and not-as-nice places to play. MYSA really wants to provide a great place for girls to come and play, be proud of and be happy to come back to. It’s just great seeing the girls that played here coming back.

“We get girls of all ages that have never played before, and they are learning all types of life skills, making life-long friends and learning stuff that is disguised as softball. Softball is secondary. Yeah, we love the game and we love to play, but we get girls involved, they learn the skills, they go on and play high school and have friends they talk to their entire lives. I know I have friends from Little League that I still talk to. We open this up to a wide range of kids, whether they have been playing since they were 4 or are brand new.”

Three girls threw out ceremonial first pitches Monday. All MYSA veterans, Lathrop’s Maci De Costa, Manteca’s Nayellys Torres and East Union’s Mikayla Simpson took their turn in the chalked circle.

A freshman, De Costa is just one year removed from MYSA competition.

“When I played here for MYSA last year we won the championship,” De Costa said. “It feels pretty good coming back here.

Torres is a junior and enjoys seeing the younger girls try and get better.

“I played here up until seventh grade,” Torres said. “I love the feeling knowing that I was where these girls are now.

“It makes me really happy to see young girls wanting to play the sport and get bettere to play the next level.”

Simpson is a sophomore and enjoyed coming back to her former stomping grounds.

“This feels nostalgic,” Simpson said. “It’s a good feeling of joy. I love it.”

MYSA continues with its second day of opening ceremonies when City of Manteca department heads will be on hand at 7 p.m. to throw out ceremonial first pitches.