Waterford parents are also having a summer they'll never forget


Author Kelly Corrigan wrote this once: "If John Lennon was right that life is what happens when you're making other plans, parenthood is what happens when everything is flipped over and spilling everywhere and you can't find a towel or a sponge or your 'inside' voice."

Or, in the case of three families from Waterford, parenthood is what happens when you painstakingly craft a family budget and then laugh hilariously when approximately 14 car trips to Norwalk, Newtown and New Hampshire you never saw coming lead to more family excursions to Virginia and Washington (state, not DC) and all the motels, hotels, fill-ups, tolls, roadside convenience stores, parking, food and other unintended expenses.

And they wouldn't have it any other way.

What a summer for the Yeomans, Rocchetti and Speller families of the 06385.

Amy and Chris Yeomans, Whitney and Ed Rocchetti and Bill and Laura Speller have sons playing on both Waterford Babe Ruth World Series teams. Noah (13) and Chase (15) Speller. Drew (13) and Mike (15) Rocchetti. Trevor (13) and Tyler (15) Yeomans. Double the fun? Sure. And double the logistical and budgetary headaches, too.

"Pretty unbelievable," Laura Speller said. "Overwhelming and exciting. Crazy at times, too."

Here is a general overview:

The Waterford 13s lost in the district finals, unaware that an at-large berth in the state tournament was possible. And to think it began so innocently. A couple of drives to the Waterford Babe Ruth Field.

Then the call came. In the state tournament. And so it began. They estimated six trips to Norwalk, navigating the vagaries of Interstate 95 during road construction season, rush hour and the road's general congestive congestion.

Then came the regional tournament in Newtown. Six trips there. Most around dinner time again. Juggling work schedules. Frequent trips to the pump. Smoke coming off the credit cards.

Now to the World Series in Glen Allen, Va., not far from Richmond.

Meanwhile, the families were watching the 15s, who at least got to play their state tournament in Waterford. The regionals? Manchester, New Hampshire.

"Four trips to New Hampshire in the six days they were there," said Bill "Duke" Speller, one of the greatest running backs in the history of Middletown High School. "But everybody helped out. Everybody was willing to take someone else if necessary. It's like a big family. After a while, you stop keeping track of what everything costs. You just make do."

The 13s leave by train for Virginia later this week. Players and coaches have expenses paid for. But not families. Next week, the 15s play in Longview, Washington, which is between Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

"We're still working on it," Laura Speller said. "We might be able to do all the families at the 13s because we can drive, but maybe just the men going to the 15s."

Yeomans, the unofficial travel agent, said flights are pricing at about $600 apiece to Washington. That's not counting hotels, food and spending money.

Funny, though, how circumstances that come from nowhere create tighter familial bonds. Spending and blending.

"It's been nice to see the brothers root for each other," Whitney Rocchetti said.

Chris Yeomans: "They fight at home, but they are each other's biggest fans."

Mike Rocchetti, the shortstop and leadoff hitter for the 15s, already had a place in Waterford sports lore and legend before this summer began. Rocchetti was a reserve varsity basketball player this past winter. He got sick on the bench and subsequently the floor in the fourth quarter of the state quarterfinal game in Fairfield, requiring about 10 minutes of cleanup duty for school custodians. It gave the starters the rest they needed to pull out a two-point win.

Now perhaps Rocchetti's parents will feel the same way when the credit card bill comes.

"It's kind of tough for them," he said. "I don't know how they're working it out. There are no words to describe what's happened this summer."

Unless it's unforgettable.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.
Twitter: @bcgenius


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