May 1, 2015 6:17 PM

Little League Lockdown: Manchester boy sidelined by redistricting, grown-up game of politics

MANCHESTER - When it comes to Little League, there are rules about eligibility. In short, you have to play where you live or go to school. However, there are exceptions and the family says their son should be one of them.

Not a fun night out at the ballgame for the Waszeciaks.

Look closely and you’ll see tears instead of cheers.

You’ll also notice that 11-year-old Matthew is wearing an official Manchester East Little League uniform—but he’s sitting in the bleachers.

His mother, Kim Waszeciaks says, “He asked me, ‘Can we go to the game? I know I can’t play.’” After a long pause, Kim told her son, “Absolutely.”

Matthew can’t play because they don’t live in the district. Their home falls under Manchester Central Little League—a problem for mom.

“We were a little frightened at first,” says Kim. She adds, “It wasn’t a very clean environment—safe environment. We found some needles and stuff around the area.”

She then decided to register him at Manchester East Little League anyway, petition for a waiver and joined the League’s board, hoping to slide Matthew in.

It didn’t work.

As Kim begins to cry, she says, “I think I just want a reason why and I want [Manchester Central and West leaders] to sign the waiver. He’s 11 years old and he wants to play with the kids he’s practicing with.”

After several calls and emails to Manchester East, Central and West—the three Little Leagues Matthew has played for—NH1 News received only one response: “No Comment.”

In the meantime, Matthew says he’ll keep cheering on his friends.

“I’m still part of a team. They’re my buddies,” says Matthew.

Matthew’s grandmother is heartbroken.

As Linda Laliberte wipes away her tears, she tells NH1 News, “We love him. We love our grandson and we just want to be here to support him and [tell him] don’t give up. Hang in there.”

A source close to this story, who spoke on condition of anonymity, tells us that waivers are rarely approved in the region because the leagues don’t want to encourage people to seek out more desirable leagues.

The source also confirms for NH1 News that Little League rules allow a player who starts in one league to finish his Little League career in that league. For Matthew, he started at Manchester West, so he could go back.

We are continuing to follow this story and will bring you any new information as soon as we get it.


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