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Glen Allen boy earns repeat trip to MLB Pitch, Hit and Run event

Nick Biddison with his father, Alan, and the Washington Nationals’ mascot, Screech.
A Henrico County boy will be back in the national spotlight for the second year in a row next month at the Major League Baseball All-Star game.

Ten-year-old Nick Biddison of Glen Allen is once again a national finalist in the Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run Competition. For the second year in a row, Biddison is one of three boys who will compete for the national title in the 9-10 year-old age division.

The competition will be held in Phoenix, prior to the MLB Home Run Derby July 11. Biddison and the other competitors (three boys and three girls in each of four age brackets) also will shag fly balls during the Home Run Derby, which will be televised nationally.

More than 600,000 youngsters competed for the right to advance to the finals. Last year, Biddison finished third in his age bracket prior to the All-Star game in Anaheim, Calif.

Biddison's journey this year began at a MLB Pitch, Hit and Run local level competition held in April at RF&P Park in Glen Allen. The local winners qualified to compete in a sectional competition in Hopewell in May. Nine different sectional competitions held throughout Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C. fed into the next level of competition, which featured the top three overall winners from among those sectionals in each age bracket. That competition was held at Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals.

In Phoenix, Biddison will compete against boys from Laverne, Calif., and Beaumont, Tex.

Biddison has been playing baseball with the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association for the past five years and is on the league's all-star ream, which recently won the Babe Ruth Division 3 Tournament. The team will compete in the state tournament in Lexington next month for a chance to earn a berth in the Babe Ruth World Series in Winchester in August.

Biddison also has played travel baseball for the Glen Allen Slammers, and recently spent a week playing with the Tidewater Drillers in the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame Tournament in Cooperstown, N.Y. 

To read an article about Biddison's journey last year, click here: http://www.henricocitizen.com/index.php/sports/article/a_big_league_experience_for_9_year_old


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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