Clarke County 10 & 11 Year Old All-Stars

By Michael Socha, Coach

I remember as a child my father saying that if I learn something every day, then I truly have lived a good life. Like a curveball, life always keeps you wondering if you really can hit it, no matter how many times you’ve seen it. I suspect during times in all of our lives, the idea of learning something new has had its challenges.

This past week, I learned something new on the hallowed grounds of a ball field, in a place I call home and a life of memories that we’re built one pitch at a time.  Ok mom I’m coming in…

Last night the Clarke County 10 & 11 year old boys took to the field in All-Star competition. With red clay streaks of sweat trickling down faces and clouds of dust dancing through the air I had a front row seat to twelve young men who proved that dreams can become reality and that memories of our lives should never end on a third out.

To the community of Clarke County, you went with us on our journey in our secret box where we placed our thoughts and hopes. As a “team” we gave special thanks to Herculean efforts by parents of ALL ages and ALL sports that practice, run to games yet still manage to hold onto the precious fabric of family where the real life-time memories are made.

We saw you last night; We never took our eye off you or our goal as though we we’re on guard paying homage to those throughout this community who touched our lives. On the hallowed grounds of a ball diamond memories we’re made last night. The words “the legend of the game “ echoed through the night”.

We should fear not of shameful athletes who try and rob dreams of heroics, for their ways are just stepping stones for our children to raise themselves to a higher level. Or fear loses when the hero who stands above beating his chest often loses sight of the support from under to help raise them to a level of adornment.

To the young men of Clarke County Little League; Michael Zuleger, Wesley Price, Tanner Dinkins, Andrew Longerbeam, Alexander Mees, Jack Margaros, Sammy Fairman, Hayden Good, Matthew Cather, Craig Genda, Patrick O’Leary and Jonah Rucker, remember forever  that “leaving it all on the field” is part of the journey, yet the memories we shared will last a lifetime which after all was our ultimate goal.

Walk softly on our ball-field, a place we call “our house”, for the foot-steps we have left are those of GIANTS from Clarke County, Virginia!


  1. Awesome job boys!!!! Great job Mike! Thanks for all you’ve done with Little League this year, I know Eddie certainly enjoyed your positive feedback and enthusiasm! Again, thank you!

  2. Dave Zuleger says:

    Great article Mike! Special thanks to the “Boys”…Michael, Wesley, Tanner, Andrew, Alexander, Jack, Sam, Hayden, Matt, Craig, Patrick and Jonah for the privilege of sharing the Ball Field with them. Also thanks to the Coaching Staff…Mike, Wes, Tim, Brad and Todd for volunteering their time to work with these fine young Athletes. Until next season Gentlemen!

    Coach Z

  3. Traci Longerbeam says:

    As a parent to 1 of these young men and a “mom” to some or all at one point or another, I must say, every one of these boys learned a ton from the fine group of coaches they had. They all learned to love the game but cherish the memory they will have for a lifetime. They did not come out of this competition with any “L” in any column. These kids went in boys and came out winning young men. THANK YOU for allowing me to share your “house”. It is a memory I as well, will carry for a lifetime.

    Ms Traci, proudly aka, Andrews mom

  4. Dawn Price says:

    I will have to say this has been the most wonderful group of children and adults that i can say it was a chance of a lifetime for me to see these young men grow to be a wonderful team and team mates. Hats off to the coaches and to the young men that did a wonderful job . I got to see my child grow more in 3 weeks in all ways of life i am a very proud mother and a proud parent of all these young men .. I do so miss the friends that i made at all practices and i feel we all came away as a family. Thank you boys for what i learned and what you all helped to teach my son Wesley Price… MISS YOU ALL .. DAWN PRICE

  5. Sammy Fairman says:

    I enjoyed being coached by the great coaching staff we had. It was a great experience. It was great playing with a great group of guys that love and care for the game as much as I do.
    who’s house…….? OUR HOUSE!!!!!!!!

    second baseman, Sammy Fairman