DYAA swings into the baseball season celebrating mothers

May 13, 2024

For the first time in almost a decade, kids kicked off the start of the Dartmouth Youth Activities Association’s baseball season with a parade down Russells Mills Road on Sunday, May 12. 

One by one, teams made their way from the old police station back to the field in anticipation of the first pitch, each kid also grabbing a colorful carnation on their way. 

Lined up along the diamond, kids clutched the flowers that they would then present to their mother’s in celebration of Mother’s Day. 

“Opening on Mother’s Day isn’t always ideal,” said Adam Mathes, member of the DYAA Board of Directors and coach for the “Red Sox” instructional team. However, the board found a way to make it special for everyone. 

Mathes said he appreciates all the mothers who took the time out of their Sunday to join the DYAA on the field for the start of the season. 

He was also excited for the revival of the baseball parade: “It was nice for the kids to be able to experience it,” he said.

Mathes grew up in Dartmouth, playing DYAA himself. The association can’t seem to get rid of the Mathes family as he came back to coach his nephews before taking a short break to start his family. 

Now, he’s been back with his own son at bat this time. 

Mathes said Sunday was his “full circle” moment as his dad had coached him all those years ago. 

“It’s kind of a learned thing,” he said of his DYAA involvement, adding how he was always taught to be “part of the solution” rather than simply complain about how things could be better.

With his most recent gripe being the parade, Mathes said he’s “excited” to start the new season, with nothing in particular looking to need fixing. 

Once they added the instructional league approximately three years ago, he said he’s seen a lot of improvement and development in the kids as they move on to different leagues, adding how it was a “phenomenal” decision made by the board. 

Bennett Mathes, 7, and Elisha Oyebamiji, 8, are both playing on the Red Sox this year with Coach Mathes and have been playing baseball the last four years. 

Oyebamiji said he’s looking forward to “hitting some dingers” and possibly getting a homerun.

Now playing in an older league, he said the competition has a little more “umph” to it.

Bennett agreed, adding how much harder the competition is compared to t-ball, but said he was excited about playing with his friends as many of them played on teams with him in the past.

Oyebamiji said, “You get a lot of experience playing with them a lot.”

Jonathan Walsh, 9, and Kole Almeida, 9, are teammates on the White Sox this year.

Before the start of their first game, Walsh said he thinks the season is going to be much easier for the team, given all their practice playing. 

He added, “We’re going to have a lot of fun because it’s not anything too serious.”

Almeida and Walsh said they were looking forward to assisting the other kids who may be newer to the sport or need more practice this year. 

They said a goal of theirs is to also win the championship. 

Playing for the DYAA, Walsh said he’s happy it is close to where they live and “also that there’s so many fields where different kids can play.”

Almeida wished everyone a Happy Mother’s Day, adding “I just want to thank our parents for bringing us here and helping us out.”

Walsh said, “Happy Mother's Day and I hope all you mothers have a nice day.”