Local little league program awarded with top international award for community service

The Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award was created in 2014 and is presented to one Little League program in the world that has worked to create a lasting impact and positive environment for the families and children in their hometown.

Named after the founder of Little League Baseball, this year’s award was given to Arlington Southwest Little League.

Workers, parents and volunteers gathered at Martin Luther King Jr. Sports Complex in Arlington on Saturday as the award was presented to ASWLL president Brett Smith. Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams was also in attendance.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams with ASWLL president Brett Smith, Southwest Region Director Angela Garcia and Deputy Mayor Pro Tempore Victoria Farrar-Myers. Brian Gosset

“This league will always be more than just baseball, and we are honored to be able to accept this award,” Smith said. “It will never be about championships or banners, but rather bringing friends and the community together for a common goal. You can come out here and enjoy the atmosphere, and have a great time. We provide that and that’s what all little leagues should do.”

ASWLL was incorporated in 1990 and consists of kids ages 4-16. People, including the umpires, will come and volunteer their time at the park, and everything at the concession stand is available for only $1.

“Little League is the largest organized youth sports program in the world,” said Angela Garcia, who is the Little League Southwestern Region Director. “The ASWLL is committed to the values Carl E. Stotz had 80 years ago. They make the little league experience memorable and are very dedicated to its players, volunteers and program values.”

ASWLL also received a $5,000 grant from Little League International.

“For them to receive this kind of award on the 80th anniversary of Little League is very special,” said Victoria Farrar-Myers, who is the Deputy Mayor Pro Tempore for District 7. “People will need to appreciate the fact that this is an international award and we have this organization right in our own community. They’re not only teaching baseball, but life skills for the next generation.”

“I just want to thank the coaches, parents, players and umpires that have come through here. It’s an exciting thing and they have made it into an incredible family experience,” Mayor Williams added. “We want to continue to make Arlington a better place everyday and thank you ASWLL for making a difference in kids’ lives.”

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.