Although Brent Stenman did not try out for his high school baseball team, he is regarded as a major leaguer when it comes to youth baseball.
Stenman was honored as the Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce person of the year Thursday evening.
Family, friends and fellow coaches paid tribute to Stenman who has been involved in North Kitsap Babe Ruth baseball for 17 years. He also serves as the assistant baseball coach at the high school.
During his term as NK Babe Ruth baseball president, the 14 year old-boys team took third at the World Series.
He is a vice president for Frontier Bank in Poulsbo and has two children Kasey and Jacqueline.
His wife Jeanna attended the banquet with him.
Dan Weedin, girls basketball coach for North Kitsap High School gave a “Top 10 list” of why Stenman never answers his phone. Others were more serious with their words.
“He just has a passion for the game and the kids,” said Steve Frease, head baseball coach for North Kitsap High School.
The team this year has a theme “ACE” — Attitude, Character Everyday, Frease said.
“I believe that you epitomize that,” he told Stenman and the sold out crowd.
Stenman’s efforts were highlighted with humor and poignancy.
Before the program began, Stenman said he was nervous about making a speech. He had prepared three pages of thoughts but when he got to the stage he simply offered his thanks.
The banquet, held at the Sons of Norway, was steeped in the great American pastime with red white and blue, baseballs and even thoughts from an Anaheim Angel.
“For several years I have been aware of some of Brent’s extraordinary efforts with youth baseball. I am certain that he has positively affected the lives of many young baseball players, perhaps some of whom may become major leaguers some day. I support Brent’s efforts of making Poulsbo and North Kitsap a great place for kids to play baseball,” former Mariners pitcher Aaron Sele said in a written statement.
The chamber award ceremony also honored “Community Builders.” Beverly Lyons, Ed Stern, Mary McCluskey and the Poulsbo Players were each given a plaque for their contributions to the community.
For 13 years Lyons has added a special touch to the Poulsbo Village with “Touch a Truck.” It has become one of the most popular children’s events on the peninsula bringing in 1,200-1,500 kids to explore trucks and ambulances.
McCluskey, who is the director of parks and recreation for the city of Poulsbo, was lauded for her vision and leadership.
Stern, a Poulsbo city councilman was praised for his work in economic development. He played an integral part in the development of the Olympic College’s Poulsbo campus.
The Poulsbo Players were applauded for their determination to make good on a dream: the Jewel Box Theatre.
The chamber also gave out four Business Beautification awards to Poulsbo Place, Hall & Company, Pacific Optical and Pacific Eye Surgery Center and Finn Hill Java.