Friends, family and community members, wearing their team’s colors, cheered from the stands as they watched the Williamsburg Senior Softball League hold its all-star games, which featured six teams in Thursday’s game.
“When you get out there and share a smile, share a laugh with a fellow teammate or even the opposition, I think it’s priceless,” said Joe Schirmer, one of the all-star players.
Schirmer, who moved to Mathews County last year from Connecticut, said that the camaraderie within WSSL was what motivated him to join.
Billy Moore, another all-star player who resides in Gloucester, said the attitude within the league was what stood out to him.
“This league is a gift. It’s a great group of people. We go out there and play as hard as each person can play, and everybody supports each other,” said Moore.
During Thursday’s games, the attitude was present as 48 players from six separate teams came together to compete as two Blue-Green-Red (BGR) teams and two Gold-Purple-Pinstripes (GPP) teams.
The first game kicked off at 9 a.m. for the teams for those 66 and older at Kiwanis Park in Williamsburg. At 10:30 a.m. the two 65 and younger teams played. In the 66 and older game, the BGR team edged out GPP 6-5. In the following 65 and younger game, GPP took the victory by 11-8.
Despite the score though, both players emphasized that the game was more fun than anything else. Moore said one of his favorite parts of the game was his team’s infield turning four double plays.
The league was first started in 2018 by a group of friends who saw the need for a senior league given the number of retirement communities in the greater Williamsburg area.
The league aims to provide seniors with a friendly atmosphere to play weekly softball games and is open to male and female players.
Since 2018, the league has worked with Williamsburg and James City County to provide spaces to play. There are also a number of local sponsors who support the league, including local restaurants, businesses and more.
John Antretter, a member of the Board of Directors for WSSL, said Thursday that they like to support their sponsors in return. One of the most common ways is through one of their weekly lunches after Tuesday and Thursday regular games.
Antretter said that the league hopes to expand in the next couple of years to form two or three divisions, as the number of players grows, and offer divisions that accommodate different age and skill groups than what is already provided.
The league also collected 338 pounds of food during Thursday’s games, which they donated to the House of Mercy in Williamsburg.
On July 20, the league will resume regular season games. Games are held every Tuesday and Thursday. For more information on the league, you can visit https://www.wsslva.org.
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