With the temperature moving up into the 80s this weekend, the clear blue skies and the days getting longer, summer is coming into swing. We received another reminder of the warmer season recently with the Little League parade in Downtown Auburn. A fundamental rite of summer, Little League provides our boys — and girls — of summer with the skills to help them play the biggest game of all — life. Little League allows our children to learn teamwork, sportsmanship and discipline through both winning and losing on the field. Lessons like knowing things won’t always go your way, but you should always give it 100 percent, are valuable teachings that Little League provides, and should be applauded for. Last year more than 2 million boys and girls took to fields across the United States to take part in America’s pastime, and the foothills region will be chalked with players, both boys and girls, learning to hit, pitch, catch and run. Our hats are off to the coaches and volunteers who take part in Little League, because without volunteers to coach, parents to cart players around, sit on league boards or run the snack shack, it wouldn’t exist. Coaches, especially, are a key component to Little League, as these are the folks who pass on the teachings that transfer from the diamond to life. Coaches like recently passed Weimar Hills School coach Bruce Smith, who had a passion for youth sports and the ability to mold his athletes both on and off the field. So head on out to Beggs Field in Auburn, or wherever you may be, and celebrate the game at its purest, where dreams of the major leagues seem like just a swing of the bat away, and life’s lessons unfold on the diamond.