I opened my newspaper this week as I have been doing for the past three weeks looking for an article related to the Ayer Youth Softball U16 championship win.

This week I found a small photo at the bottom of page 14 titled "League Champions!" To my surprise there was no story just the names of the players and coaches and the words Ayer Captures North CMass league title.

As a parent of one of the players, and also a former youth baseball coach, I found this a bit disturbing after such a big accomplishment by this team. This was the first year of the U16 league and the championship trophy gets handed down from champion to champion, similar to the Stanley Cup, and Ayer was the first to get their name on this trophy.

The team had a rough start this year but pulled together with the guidance of a great coaching staff and won eight games in a row, bringing them to the league championship. It was the final year for Tina, Kayla, Morgan, Stephanie and Catherine, and what a great sendoff it was for the majority of these girls who have been playing since they were in grade school.

I want to publicly thank Coach John Esielionis, who informed us this year this was his final year of coaching. John has coached my daughter for several years along with several other girls on the team. John, your kindness, understanding, along with your knowledge of the game, are irreplaceable and you will be missed.

Thank you Coach Mike Ernst for your constant drive and your in-depth knowledge of the game.

Thank you coaches Erika and Wayne for your support this year.

Girls, you ALL did an outstanding job this year and you all deserve more than a picture with your names below it on page 14. You are ALL true champions and don't ever give up your drive.

CHRIS PREHL

Ayer

Editor's note: Sports editor Ed Niser sent the following email to the softball coordinator who sent the photo and names. "Thank you very much for sending the picture over. Feel free to call or email me if you have a story or image you would like to see run in the paper. Congratulations on winning the title." We received no reply to the suggestion of a story.