XZero Heroes: Ritter Rallies Lakeside Youth

For years, Justin Ritter wondered what the community of Lakeside would be like with a youth baseball program. Today, his dream of bringing youth baseball to the community he calls home has blossomed into a reality greater than anything he could have imagined. “As a travel baseball coach for the past four or five years, I’ve seen so many kids in our community who didn’t have the opportunity to play baseball due to its cost,” Ritter said. "There are so many kids out there whose parents simply can’t afford it. I believe that all kids should have the opportunity to be able to play baseball, whether their parents can afford it or not.” Driven by his love for the game, Ritter began researching way

XZero Heroes: Simmons Shines for Red Devils

Everyone in the small-town community of Mountain Pine knows Allison Simmons. From working in the computer lab to coaching basketball, softball and tee-ball and welcoming students to school each day in the drop-off line, the former Red Devil alumna can be found just about anywhere at Mountain Pine School—and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I take a lot of pride in what I do,” Simmons said. “Right now, I serve as a paraprofessional at the school. Last year, I worked with some of our special education students. This year, I taught computer lab for the elementary school. Next year, I will do physical activities with all the kids. Everything that I do for the school and community is for the

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© 2016 by Mark Oliver