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May 27, 2008

My friend, Larry Slone

He has a rough time with mesh batting cages and I could probably use some of those cute symbols like *#$@& in a few quotes, but Larry Slone is a heckuva guy to lend an ear or shoulder, he is the absolute man to know on July 4 and I’m proud to say he’s been my friend for nearly a dozen years.

Oh yeah, by the way this fella knows quite a bit about fastpitch softball, too!

Coach Slone has dedicated the bulk of his time in planning, developing, building, guiding and supporting the softball-playing young women of this community. And his efforts have certainly been on display the past few seasons. A string of 61st District titles that dates back eight years, the program’s first-ever 16th Region championship and trip to the State Tournament… Coach of the Year honors too numerous to count.

Listen to the players talk about ‘the little white-haired man’, they grin and bear some things while learning so much about the game from this Rowan County sports icon. They will tell you about his approach, his style, his remarkable vocal ability and they will also tell you about the love he has for all of them -- and the same kids who get their names hollered out across dusty ball diamonds are the first ones to get patted on the back -- all this from my friend, Coach Larry Slone.

We all have our critics and the Coach has had his. But the dedication and commitment of Larry Slone can be seen from the local youth-league fields all the way to the trophy case at the high school. Larry Slone knows softball, he cares about kids and I’m proud to call him my friend.

Good luck Coach… you and your kids play tough this week! See you at the game

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