WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Roger and Peggy White, the parents of Sunset Valley Golf Course owner Barb Carlson, received quite the honor recently.
The pair, who lived in Chautauqua County during the 1960s and 1970s and over that time did much work with local Little League and Babe Ruth organizations, were inducted into the Lake Region High School Sports Hall of Fame for their 18 years of service to Lake Region athletics.
The Whites have lived in Polk County (Florida) for the past 33 years.
Roger, who before moving to Florida was a scout for the Philadelphia Phillies and later became, in the mid-1980s, an announcer at Polk State College baseball games, has been the public address announcer at wrestling, basketball, baseball and softball games since Lake Region opened in 1995 while over that same period Peggy has volunteered her time at the ticket booth.
"They are definitely Hall of Fame caliber," Lake Region Athletic Director Bill Bullock told The Ledger, a local newspaper in Polk County. "They've been there for 18 years supporting every sport and every team. They definitely bleed Lake Region blue."
That dedication to local sports - wherever they may be - is nothing new.
During their time in Chautauqua County, Roger served as coach and Little League President while Peggy was Secretary of the League. Among other accomplishments, both served on the Babe Ruth Board for Northern Chautauqua County, they organized a youth basketball league and even helped organize the amateur water skiing club that in years past performed at various locations on Chautauqua Lake.
"We love sports and we love being part of Lake Region... It's an honor that we never thought would come our way," Roger told The Ledger.
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Summer collegiate baseball is well under way, so it's worth taking a few moments to check in on how some of the area athletes participating are fairing in these competitive leagues..
Thad Johnson (Frewsburg/Frewsburg), an infielder for the Wellsville Nitros (which are coached by former Jamestown Community College coach Anthony Barone) who recently completed his freshman season at St. Bonaventure, continues to rake in the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
Johnson has connected on hits in 20-of-57 at-bats thus far this season (that's a batting average of .351), has walloped three home runs, driven in 12 runs, scored 15 more and has hit two doubles over 14 games.
The Nitros are currently 11-9 overall.
Thaddeus' older brother, Asa Johnson, meanwhile, also a member of the Bonnies, is playing in the Alaska Baseball League for the Chugiak Chinooks, and has proven to be quite the workhorse for the squad. The right hander has thrown 19 innings in five games - third most on the team - and over that span has recorded one save and 15 strikeouts for a 3.20 earned-run average.
Back over on the east coast, Tanner Delahoy (Southwestern/Jamestown), who had an outstanding season at Mercyhurst University (and before that, at Jamestown Community College), sports a 2.31 ERA, and has fanned a whopping 16 batters while surrendering a mere four hits over 11 innings for the New England Collegiate Baseball League's Keene (N.H.) Swamp Bats.
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Micah Kellogg (Southwestern/Lakewood) continues to make progress in professional baseball.
In two games (three innings) with the Gulf Coast League Tigers, the 6-foot-4 hurler has scattered five hits, fanned two and walked two.
The Tigers, at 6-2 overall, have won four straight and are currently tied atop the Gulf Coast League's Northeast Division with the GCL Astros.