Baseball team moms at Ashley Ridge, Wando and Goose Creek wear many hats

  • Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 12:31 a.m.
When she wasn’t watching her son pitch against Bishop England on Monday April 23, 2012, ‘team mom’ Tracey Carpin was a blur in the Wando concession stand. (Wade Spees/postandcourier.com) Buy this photo

When Danielle Mace makes her weekly trip to the discount club store, it’s not unusual for her to purchase 180 hotdogs, 80 hamburgers, five super-sized cans of boiled peanuts, eight cases of bottled water, along with 10-12 cases of soft drinks.

It might not be a feast fit for a king, but it’s perfect for baseball fans.

Mace is a team mother for the Ashley Ridge High baseball team, and when she goes shopping even the bill is super-sized. It’s not unusual for her to spend $500 a trip to stock the concession stand.

“At the beginning of the season, I spent $1,100,” Mace said. “We had to use my husband’s Chevy pick-up truck and the trailer he had attached to it. It’s a lot of food.”

And a lot of work.
Team moms make life a lot easier for coaches. They organize pregame meals, run concession stands and make sure all the parents are on the same page when it comes to game schedules and travel plans.

“Being a team mom — it gives you a different perspective,” said Mace, whose son Patick is a senior on the team. “Sometimes you get to hear what the coaches tell the kids. You are more privy. You don’t have to rely on your son to tell you what happened. You know how that can go with a teenager,”

Mace is one of two team moms for Ashley Ridge, the No. 2-ranked baseball team in the state. She coordinates the volunteers for the concession stand and buys in bulk.

Lorine Wright sets up the schedule for the team’s pregame meals and helps with the team’s fund-raising golf tournament.

The golf outing also involves a lot of food.

Prior to the season, Wright collected donations and then bought enough food to feed about 350 golfers.

“We had ribs, grilled chicken, pasta, chicken salad and a lot of side dishes — just about everything. The ribs were the first to go,” Wright said. “My husband, Levi, was in the Air Force for 26 years and came back as a cook. He helped out. It really didn’t take that long. If you count food prep, it took only six to seven hours.”

Ashley Ridge coach B.J. Bellush appreciates the time and hard work that Wright and Mace put in for the team.

“Both are great assets to our baseball program,” Bellush said. “It is great that I can depend on them and just focus on coaching the team.”

Labor of love
Shelli Sillanta is the team mom for the Goose Creek Gators. Her son, Christian, is in the 10th grade. She’s served as a team mom since he started playing rec league baseball at age 3. When she’s not running the Gators’ concession stand, she’s taking charge of the concession stand for the rec league where her daughter, Payton, plays.

Sillanta says she loves being a part of something her children enjoy, and she really likes baseball.

At Goose Creek, she takes inventory and tells Gators coach Scott Durham what to buy. He runs to the store, makes the purchase and brings it to the field.

Sillanta stocks the items, sets the prices and sells plenty of food and drinks.

“I listen to parents, too,” she said. “I get to listen to them if they feel their child isn’t playing enough. I hear it when their kids don’t get to play.”

Group effort
Tracey Carpin is the team mom at Wando High School.

“I don’t feel like ‘the’ team mom because we have so many volunteers,” she said. “Everybody is willing to help out.”

That makes watching her son play a little more enjoyable. Michael Carpin is a first baseman and pitcher, and when he’s on the mound, mom is out of the concession stand and in the stands to watch.

“Everybody is more than willing to cover for you,” Carpin said. “We’re all here to help out. We’re also here to watch our sons.”

Bishop England doesn’t have an official team mom. But the Bishops have more than enough volunteers.

“Our mothers coordinate with one another to provide pre-game meals and drinks for all of our road games,” coach Mike Darnell said. “They also coordinate with the booster club to make sure all of our games have ample coverage for the concession stand.”

Team mom for life
Lorine Wright’s son, Lorenzo, is a senior at Ashley Ridge and will play for the College of Charleston next spring. Mrs. Wright will be the Swamp Foxes’ team mom next year because a neighbor, who she says is like a son to her, will play on the team.

After that, is it time to just sit back and relax and watch Cougar baseball?

“I was the team mom when Lorenzo played Little League,” Wright said. “I was team mom when he played travel ball for the Hawks and East Coast Baseball Academy. I don’t know if I will be done being a team mom. I might have to give Monte Lee a call.”

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