by Peter Jakey-Managing Editor
Rogers City Little League has its 2018 grand marshals in place for Saturday’s noontime parade along Third Street. The opener is a tradition in Rogers City going back 63 years.
The grand marshals are Matt and Jackie Quaine, who minus seven years, have lived in the area their entire lives. They grew up and went to school in Rogers City and raised a family in the community.
All four of their children were in Little League, and behind the scenes, Matt and Jackie were providing the needed volunteer support that has made the program such a tremendous success over the decades.
Matt served many years as a board member and coach, while Jackie managed several teams, including the Little League softball state runner-up squad of 2009 as an assistant coach. Some of those players went on to bring home Rogers City High School’s first softball state title in 2014.
Interesting note about the Quaines, who were surprised and humbled by the honor, they never played Little League. Other obligations got in the way.
“I had an afternoon paper route,” said Matt. “I had never had the privilege. I wanted to, but my mother cut me short.”
“I was a farm girl and did not have time,” Jackie added with a laugh. “I was milking cows and baling hay.”
Matt, who put 20 years into the program, said it was a pleasure watching young players learn and develop into baseball and softball players.
“You can always sit back, or you can get involved, and do the best job that you can” said Matt, who was part of the program for 20 years. “We had a great board over the years, great presidents, great coaches. We always believed in getting involved in the community.”
Matt and other board members were instrumental in installing fence cap at all the fields. It was a requirement for hosting a district. That change, along with a dirt infield made it possible.
Matt has been a member of the Rogers City Police Department for 28 years, 19 as the chief. He is an Army veteran, who served for seven years. The couple lived in New Jersey and Hawaii before returning to Rogers City in 1989.
Jackie has been an integral part of the highly successful Rogers City High School volleyball program for 17 years, 12 as varsity coach. The current stint is six years and includes two final-four appearances the past two seasons.
Now that the Quaines have been named to lead the parade, is it going to be a ride or walk to Little League Park?
While Jackie would like to jog the parade route, it will be a walk from the Grambau Education Center, along Third to Woodward, before the Calcite Road curve.
The first pitches will be on the Poch Field when the players get there and line up around the infield for the opening day festivities.
The queen is Elizabeth Berryman. The court includes Nikole Pierce, Halle Davis, Callie Krajniak and Jazzmin Armstrong.