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Cougar Kids win chance to help out

Beacon-News Cougar Kid Jesus Mauricio 13 North Aurorgets high five when Danny Mateo entered dugout after scoring Tuesday Aug. 07

Beacon-News Cougar Kid, Jesus Mauricio ,13, of North Aurora gets a high five when Danny Mateo entered the dugout after scoring on Tuesday, Aug. 07, 2012. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

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The winners

Six area children were selected Beacon-News Cougars Kids to help out during the Kane County Cougars Aug. 7 game. Here are the essay-contest winners, and their official jobs:

Mary Peters, 12, Sugar Grove, promotions assistant

Mackenzie Groenenboom, 9, of Montgomery, souvenir seller

Jesus Mauricio, 13, of North Aurora, bat boy

Elysia Robles, 10, of Montgomery, bat girl

Nolan James, 8, of Batavia, mascot Ozzie’s assistant

Ludia Andrade, 10, of Aurora, official greeter

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Updated: November 30, 2012 11:00AM



Mary Peters’ 12-year-old body looked tiny Tuesday as she stood on the green grass of Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.

She was one of six area children selected a Beacon-News Cougars Kids. Peters got the opportunity to rub elbows with the players, and take to the field as the game’s promotions assistant.

Others helped out with bat boy duties, greeted eager fans, sold souvenirs or followed around Ozzie the mascot during the Cougars’ game against the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

“I just wanted to be part of the game,” said Peters, of Sugar Grove, taking a break from her on-field duties. Having been a bat girl in the past, Peters decided to try her hat on as the promotions assistant instead, helping run contests and giveaways between innings.

In the souvenir shop, Mackenzie Groenenboom, 9, of Montgomery, shared a giant smile with fans as she peddled T-shirts, hats and other Ozzie gear.

The Beacon-News and the Kane County Cougars first partnered in 1994 to give Fox Valley kids ages 8 to 13 the opportunity to be part of the Cougars family during a season game.

This year, six kids were selected to fill the jobs of bat boy, bat girl, souvenir seller, official greeter, mascot Ozzie’s assistant and promotions team assistant.

The youngsters were asked to share, in 50 words or less, why they wanted to be a Cougar Kid. Reasons this year ranged from the sheer love of the Cougars and baseball itself, to professional career aspirations and a wish to be in the middle of the action at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

“I was bouncing off the walls (when I found out I had been chosen),” Groenenboom said. “My mom had to keep me quiet because she was baby-sitting.”

Groenenboom admittedly
knows nothing about
baseball, which is why she chose to sell T-shirts instead. Others, however, were eager to get their shoes dirty on the field, including 13-year-old Jesus Mauricio, of North Aurora, and 10-year-old Elysia Robles, of Montgomery.

The two ran from dug out to dug out chasing the bats and players as the games’ official bat boy and bat girl.

Little 8-year-old Nolan James, of Batavia, was eagerly serving as Ozzie’s assistant, while Ludia Andrade put on a smile as the games’ official greeter.

“Thanks to the Cougars and The Beacon-News! My boy had a fantastic time being Ozzie’s assistant tonight,” Nolan James’ mother, Tenesha, wrote after the game. “You made one little boy (and his mom) very happy. Way to go Cougars!”

And, by the way, the Cougars won with a score of 5-0.



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