SPA News

What's Happening in Senior Softball

TINELLI AWARDED SPA SCHOLARSHIP

TOBY TINELLI was the 650th recipient of a SPA $500 college scholarship prior to the start of the LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT April 19th in GEORGETOWN, TEXAS.

TINELLI, a business major at UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON DOWNTOWN made it a family celebration in accepting his award.

His grandfather JIM plays for the TEXAS LEGENDS 75's and he and the rest of the LEGENDS surrounded the younger TINELLI as he accepted his award.

"That is always special when a senior softball player is there to watch a grandchild accept an award like this," SPA president RIDGE HOOKS said. "It makes me very proud when SPA can award these scholarships to worthy students. It shows everyone there is more to the SPA organization than just softball games."

EYES OF TEXAS ON LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL

SPA crowned 10 individual team champs in eight age brackets as 30 teams competed in the LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT held April 19-22 at MCMASTERS ATHLETICS COMPLEX in GEORGEOWN,TEXAS.

"It was a great tournament and I know LAYLA was watching and was proud of the tournament in her name," SPA president RIDGE HOOKS said. "There was great competition in all the brackets which made for a great tournament."

Four teams competed on the 65 PLUS bracket with HENDRICKS winning the 65 MAJOR title and HOOKS taking home the 65AAA crown.

HENDRICKS defeated HOOKS 25-17 and DALLAS SPURS 38-19 on their trip to the top spot while HOOKS knocked off HOUSTON CLASSICS 31-21 to reach the finals.

LOUISIANA LEGENDS defeated the AVENGERS 24-14 and the GREY SOX twice (24-9 in the finale) for the 70 AAA championship.  The GREY SOX beat AUSTIN MERCHANTS 26-25 for third place in the four-team bracket.

SAN ANTONIO SILVER STREAKS defeated 2017 champ SAN ANTONIO LEGENDS 17-15 for the 70 MAJOR title.  The LEGENDS reached the finals defeating BOYD METALS 30-12. The OKIES was the fourth team in the group.

In a three-team bracket, STILL took home the trophy defeating the TEXAS GREYHOUNDS 26-19 in the title game. The TEXAS CLASSICS was the third team in the group.

The 75/80 Division title went to the TEXAS legends who beat the DESPERADO"S 24-7 and 13-12 along with a 26-23 win over HILL CONTRACTING.

The DESPERADO'S reached the finals with a win over HILL CONTRACTING. The SAN ANTONIO 80's were the fourth team in the bracket.

CARRIAGE HOMES topped the TEXAS LEGENDS for the 60 AAA crown The LEGENDS defeated the DALLAS SPURS to reach the title game. The TEXAS THUNDER rounded out the bracket.

The HOUSTON FIRE downed GONZALES INSULATION twice in the best two-out-of-three battle for the 60 MAJOR CROWN.

ESCOBAR BODY SHOP beat TEAM ARKANSAS 41-19 in the "IF" game to take the top spot in the 50 MAJOR BRACKET, ESCOBAR had beaten TEAM ARKANSA 41-40 and L&R SOFTBALL 28-23 before losing to TEAM ARKANSAS 19-21 to force the "IF" game.

TWO REPEAT AT MID-SOUTH NIT

The TENNESSEE COMETS (50 AAA) and GAS (60 AAA) defended their 2017 crowns at the VALLEY, ALABAMA SPA MID-SOUTH NIT.

The April 19-22 held at the VALLEY SPORTSPLEX facility saw 33 teams battle it out for titles in eight divisions.

The TENNESSEE COMETS went undefeated in pool and bracket play finishing it off with two wins over MAJOR LEAGUE (21-17, 24-20) for the 50 AAA title.

MAJOR LEAGUE took runner-up honors in the five-team bracket followed by BLUEGRASS, ATLANTA 50's and KENT"S PLAYERS.

GAS bested ELITE SOFTBALL 21-16 and 20-18 along with a 25-9 win over SEASONED VETS in bracket play for the 60 AAA crown.

ELITE SOFTBALL was second followed by SEASONED VETERANS and SOUTHERN THUNDER in the four-team bracket.

DUDLEY rolled over the competition going 5-0 in pool and bracket play to take the 55 MAJOR CROWN.

The champs beat DT EXPRESS 38-21, MONSTER 55 SOFTBALL 23-19 and MONTGOMERY SWARM 29-27 in bracket action.

DT EXPRESS finished second followed by MONSTER SOFTBALL and MONTGOMERY SWARM.

DOC'S also went 5-0 in taking the 50 MAJOR title.

DOC'S beat LIGHTHOUSE LOOKOUTS 31-30, 33-24 and RIVER ROCK RENTALS 30-21 in bracket play.

LIGHTHOUSE LOOKOUTS was second in the five-team group followed by WALKER BROTHERS, S.E.SWARM. RIVER ROCK RENTALS and ATLANTA MONARCHS.

The 65 AAA title went to T.A.G. in the five-team bracket. T.A.G. edged COLUMBUS LXV twice 19-18 and 22-20 in the finals. They also defeated RPR 31-22 in bracket play.

COLUMBUS XLV who only lost to T.A.G. (4-2) in the tournament was second. RPR, (BY) GRACE REDEEMED and THE FIRM rounded out the bracket.

TRAVELERS beat 2017 champ TIME BANDITS in the "IF" game 21-6 to win the 70 AAA title. In the march to the crown, TRAVELERS beat FOR FREEDOM 24-11, TIME BANDITS 17-2 and lost 19-15 to the TIME BANDITS forcing the "IF" match.

FOR FREEDOM was third followed by DEEP SOUTH (who went 2-0 in pool play) and SOUTHERN HEAT.

ATLANTA RECYCLING 60'S took the 60 MAJOR TITLE while JR SMITH was 55 AAA champ. Others competing in the 55AAA/60M bracket were TENNESSEE COMETS, SOUTHERN SILVERBACKS and DARRELL HARRIS.

"After last year's rain problems this was quite an upgrade," SPA CEO RIDGE HOOKS said." PETE (FOWLER) did a great job in setting this year's event up and making it an enjoyable experience for the participating teams and their fans."

WEATHER DAMPENS SALUTE TO VETERANS EVENT

The weather all but washed-out the SPA SALUTE TO VETERANS TOURNAMENT at COLLEGE STATION. TEXAS April 5-6.

“We had 25 teams set up for the tournament in all ages,” SPA president and CEO RIDGE HOOKS said. “The weather wasn’t kind and we were only able to get the 65,70 and 75 groups played.”

HILL CONTRACTING won the 75 MAJOR while SAN ANTONIO DESPERADO’S edged out the TEXAS LEGENDS for the 75 AAA title.

The TEXAS CLASSICS out gunned the GREY SOX 25-16 and AUSTIN MERCHANTS 14-11 to take home the 70 AAA crown.

HOUSTON CLASSICS claimed the 65 AAA championship while ROBSON RANCH went home with the 65 AA trophy. The 70 AA title was won by the TEXAS GREYHOUNDS.

CAROLINA A’S WIN SPA WARM-UPS

The CAROLINA A’S beat both the weather and five other teams to win the SPA WARM-UP TOURNAMENT April 6-8 at FRANK LISE PARK in CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA.

CAROLINA A’S was the only 55M team with the others being 50 AAA.

The champs beat C3 RAGS twice (26-22, 20-10) to capture the crown.

The C3 RAGS reached the finals beating CAROLINA FIVE-O by a 22-11 count and BLACKBURN TRUCKING 19-18.

BLACKBURN finished third, PREMIER ELECTRIC four, CAROLINA PROPERTIES fifth and CAROLINA FIVE-O sixth.

Tournament Director was RICK TUCKER.

SPA 2018 TOURNEY SEASON UNDERWAY

The SOUTHERN SPRING NIT kicked off the SPA 2018 tournament season March 15,16,17,18 in Montgomery, Alabama with thirty teams taking part in the event which saw winners crowned in eight divisions.

“It was a very competitive tournament,” SPA Director Lonnie O’Haver said. “We also had great weather which made it a very enjoyable tournament.”

The TENNESSEE COMETS won the 50 AAA eight team division going undefeated (6-0) in both pool and bracket play. It wasn’t a walk though as the COMETS edged SE SWARM 21-18 in the title contest and Brickyard 21-18 in the winner’s bracket game.

The SE SWARM (5-3) got their money’s worth in the tournament when after losing their opener in bracket play they had o beat BLUEGRASS, KENT PLAYERS, and BRICKYARD Sunday to reach the finals.

Final standings: 1. TENNESSEE COMETS (6-0), 2. SE SWARM (5-3), BRICKYARD (4-2), KENT PLAYERS (2-3), BLUE GRASS (2-3), MAJOR LEAGUE SENIORS (2-3), ATLANTA 50’S (0-4) AND TEAM ADIKTIVE (0-4)

Eight teams also squared off in the 50 Major with the same result – an undefeated winner.

TEAM ARKANSAS ran the table with wins over RIVERROCK VENTURES (38-25), WALKER BROS (28-24), RESOLVE 50’S (30-14 and 27-14 in the finals.

RESOLVE 50’S (4-3) took runner-up honors. Filling out the bracket were WALKER BROS (4-3), LIGHTHOUSE LOOKOUTS (3-3), DOC’S (3-2, ATLANTA MONARCHS (1-4), SR SOFTBALL SOFTIES (1-3) AND RIVERROCK VETERANS (0-4).

The five-team 55AAA/MAJOR saw AAA MONTGOMERY SWARM beat DARRELL HARRIS 17-12 in the finals for the title. The SWARM also went undefeated in pool and bracket play at 5-0.

In bracket play they earned their way to the finals beating DT EXPRESS 2-19 and JR SMITH 27-21.

AAA DARRELL HARRIS (4-3) took second place after playing four games on Sunday.

The rest of the field were AAA JR SMITH (3-2), MAJOR DT EXPRESS (1-4) AND TENNESSEE CONNECTION (0-4)

The SWARM also took the 207 title going 5-0.

SEASONED VETS (5-1) won the 60AAA/MAJOR crown beating GAS SOFTBALL (5-2) 23-11 in the title game. GAS reached the title game with a 28-27 cliff hanger over ELITE SOFTBALL (3-3).

Also in the bracket were BAND OF BROTHERS (2-4) and SOUTHERN SILVERBACKS (0-5).

The 65AAA,70AAA and 70 MAJOR saw three teams walk away with crowns.

COLUMBUS XLV (4-1) won the 65 title, LA LEGENDS (4-1) were the 70 AAA champions and MATADOR CLUB (2-3) took the 70 MAJOR trophy. DEEP SOUTH (0-5) was the other team in the bracket.

“This was a good way to start off our 2018 season,” SPA president and CEO RIDGE HOOKS said. “Great competition and great weather. You really couldn’t ask for much more. NATALIE NORMAN and her staff did an excellent job, I really appreciate her effort.”

HUGH BROTHERTON – BATTERIES INCLUDED

Eighty-seven Hugh Brotherton is senior softball’s answer to the Eveready Bunny, he just keeps going, going and going. 

It is pretty surprising for someone who never took up the game until he was 62 years old.

“I played baseball when I was a kid but not after high school.” he explained. “I didn’t have time for sports because Carol and I got married and all our free time was raising our five sons and five daughters.”

The Brothertons have been married 64 years and in addition to their ten children, they have 23 grandchildren and 17 great-grand children, with the oldest ten years old.

“I didn’t decide to play senior softball until I was 62,” the Senior Hall-of-Famer said. “I am glad I did, it has been a wonderful experience both on and off the field. I hope I can play another 25 years.”

The Michigan native hasn’t been just a player, he has been an All-Star player.

Logging most of his time with Florida’s Center For Sight team he has received so may awards and honors he doesn’t know what to do with them all.

“I gave each grandchild one of my rings and still have a drawer full left,” he said. “I also have won so many MVP, All-American and All-Star Awards I can’t remember them all. What he does remember are team awards and the players he played with or against.

“That is the biggest thing about playing senior softball, it is the friends you make,” he explained. “Awards are nice but friendships last a lifetime.”

“Carol and I have met so many wonderful people and visited so many different cities and states, it would not have been possible without playing senior softball,’ he added. “We look forward to tournaments where we can renew old acquaintances and make new ones. It is just like a big family reunion.”

Brotherton also proves you are never too old to try new things.

A couple of years ago at the Huntsman Games he had some time before the softball tournament started so he entered some senior running events.

Running in the 85-and up division he set Senior Games records in winning the 500, 1,500 and 3,00 meters.

“Never tried it before but I walk three miles a day and play about 100 softball games each year, so I figured I was in pretty good shape to try it,”he said.

Brotherton figures he has played well over 10,000 softball games since he started playing twenty-five years ago.

“I thank the Lord every day for giving me the ability to participated in athletics at my age,’he said. “Praise be to God for giving me the opportunities.”

The Hall-of-fame athlete also appreciates his sponsor.

“Center For Sight has been with us over twenty years,” he said. “They have not only been an outstanding sponsor but a wonderful and appreciated friend.”

What changes has he seen in his twenty-five years in senior ball.?

“Mainly the growth. When I started, a 67-year old was the oldest players, now 67’s are kids,” Brotherton said. “The players keep getting older and is great to still be playing competitive ball at 85.”

“Organizations like SPA and SSUSA and big tournaments like the SPA Buckeye Classic offer us those opportunities and we appreciate it.”

“Still haven’t figured out why the younger players need those high powered bats and ball to play, must be an ego thing,” Brotherton added. “We started with wooden and single wall bats and were still able to score runs and play the game and it was safer for the pitcher and corner infielders.”.

Brotherton considers the players like himself himself who started playing in the 1990’s as Senior Softball Trailblazers.

“When I started I never dreamed I would  be playing softball at 87 years nor would there be others my age playing in a league or tournament with me,” Brotherton. “I consider myself truly blessed and hope I played a part in growing senior softball so you are never too old to play”

SPA SENIOR TOURNAMENTS READY FOR 2018

Teams from all over are anxiously awaiting the start of the SPA 2018 tournament schedule and they will not have to wait long.

Alabama's LAGOON PARK starts the SPA Tournament schedule 3/15-3/18 with the SOUTHERN SPRING NATIONALS in Montgomery. Last year 37 teams attended the event as SPA tournament attendance was up across the board.

"We set records last year for tournament attendance with most drawing 30 teams, six in the 40's and THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC with 76." SPA President and CEO Ridge Hooks said. "This year we expect to continue to grow with over 30 men's tournaments and six women's. We are now in 17 states with a possibility of two new states yet to join."

Ohio has the most tournaments with six with Texas, Alabama and North Carolina each having three. Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Florida and Missouri have two events while Louisiana, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Maryland, Illinois and Indiana one.

The women have two in Tennessee and Florida with one in Georgia and Indiana.

 

GO TIDE ALABAMA
3/15-3/18 MONTGOMERY SOUTHERN SPRING NIT
4/19-4/22 VALLEY MID SOUTH NIT
7/26 -7/29 CULLMAN RED/WHITE/BLUE 

GATOR TIME IN FLORIDA
10/18-10/21 PENSACOLA SOUTHERN NIT

TY COBB'S HOME GEORGIA
6/21-6/24 PEACH STATE CLASSIC, MARIETTA
8/2-8/5 MID-SOUTH INVITATIONAL, CARTERSVILLE

DA BEARS! ILLINOIS
5/22-5/26 TROY JIM WELCH MEMORIAL SPA CLASSIC

HOOSIER COUNTRY INDIANA
7/20-7/22 INDIANA HOOSIER CLASSIC,SHELBYVILLE

POST MARDI GRAS IN LOUISIANA
4/12-4/15 MONROE SPRING QUALIFIER NIT

LOVE THE CRAB CAKES MARYLAND
5/2-5/6 GLEN BURNIE CLASSIC 

WHERE THE OKEY DOKEYS ARE MADE MINNESOTA
6/7-6/10 STEVE SIMMONS MOSQUITOLAND  CLASSIC LITTLE CANADA 

SHOW ME STATE MISSOURI
6/21-6/24  ISENHOWER MID-AMERICA NIT, RAYMORE
8/3 - 8/5 MID AMERICA QUALIFIER, LIBERTY 

HOW ABOUT THEM HEELS? NORTH CAROLINA
4/6-4/8 CONCORD SPA WARM-UP
5/18-5/20 CONCORD AWARDS EXPRESS
7/27 - 7/29 CONCORD PLAYER/AWARDS EXPRESS SHOOTOUT 

OH -H EYE-O OHIO
4/11  DAYTON 10TH ANNUAL ASA/SPA DICK ERNST
5/9-5/13 COLUMBUS HEART OF OHIO BERLINER
6/12-6/24 THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC BARBERTON
7/5-7/8 DAYTON FIRST FLIGHT
8/2-8/7 SYLVANIA GREAT LAKES SPA NIT

BOOMER SOONER OKLAHOMA
4/26-4/29  MUSTANG MILITARY SERVICE APPRECIATION MUSTANG 

LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS TENNESSEE
7/13-7/15  JOHNSON CITY 26TH ANNUAL TOM WILLIAMS TRI-CITIES CLASSIC 

THE EYES OF TEXAS
4/5-4/8 COLLEGE STATION SALUTE TO VETERANS
4/19-4/26 GEORGETOWN LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL
6/7 - 6/10 WAXAHATCHIE LONE STAR STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

CARRY ME BACK TO 'OLE VIRGINIA
6/1-6/3 SPA DEMARINO SPRING FLING , HENRICO (RICHMOND)
8/25-8/26 MENS VIRGINIA CLASSIC, HENRICO

MENS WORLDS

50,55,60 MAJOR & MAJOR PLUS WORLDS
7/19-7/22 DALTON, GEORGIA

75-80 WORLDS
8/6-8/29 COLUMBUS, OHIO BERLINER 

75-80 WORLD SERIES
9/9-9/12 DALTON. GEORGIA HERITAGE PARK

50,55,65 ALL DIVISIONS
9/6-9/9 DALTON. GEORGIA 

60 AA 60 AAA, 70 ALL
9/13-9/16 DALTON, GEORGIA 

WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT

FLORIDA
4/12-4/15 SPRING NATIONAL. PENSACOLA
11/7-11/11 SPA WORLD SERIES, PANAMA CITY

INDIANA
8/22-8/26 SHELBYVILLE WOMENS NIT

TENNESSEE
5/16-5/20  TWITTY WOMENS NIT, HENDERSONVILLE
7/5-7/6 ROCKY TOP, KNOXVILLE

GEORGIA

SPA WOMENS WORLDS DALTON GEORGIA
9/19-9/23    50-70 AGES

SPA WOMENS MASTERS WORLD SERIES
9/22-9/23   30,40,45 AGES

MORE TOURNAMENTS AND TOURNAMENT INFO AT

http://softballspa.com/

JIM WELCH MEMORIAL TROY TOURNEY BACK

Good news for mid west softball teams as the TROY ILLINOIS JIM WELCH MEMORIAL SPA CLASSIC is back on schedule for MAY 22-27 at GORDY MAC COMPLEX in TROY..

The tourney was dropped earlier in January due to field availability. It is for 65,.70,.75 and 80 divisions..

"The field problem has been handled and we are ready to go," tournament director LENNY SUESS said. "We may change the format this year depending on amount of teams entered."

Last year TWENTY TEAMS took part in a round robin event but SUESS says, "If there is an increase in teams we will probably go to a five game guarantee of three pool and double elimination."

Dates for the tournament are 75 and 80 groups MAY 22-24 while the 65 and 70 divisions square of May 25-27.

The tournament will also provide 1/2 dozen softball to each team. The cost of the tournament is $325.

The host hotel is the BEST WESTERN ($76) with rooms at RED ROOF ($66), MOTEL 6 ($56) and HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS ($125) also available.

Contact SEUSS at (618) 791-1380 or ljseuss@gmail.com

Following is the result of the 2017 tournament.

 

WELCH TOURNAMENT CONTINUES TO GROW

 

The second annual Jim Welch Memorial tournament in Troy, Illinois hit the magic 20  number in terms of teams attending.

The round robin event held May 23-24 showed a big improvement from the first year.

"We had a good turnout this year and I expect to see another big increases in 2018," tournament director Lenny Seuss said. "This is only my second year running a SPA tournament so each year you learn a little more about getting teams to attend."Pallet "Retention is the key," he explained. "If we retain at least 18 and add another 12 teams next year there is no reason we can not draw 30 teams.. We also expect to expand our draw to include more 60,55 and 50's teams."

This year's tournament with the emphasis on the older groups was divided into five groups (80, 75, 70, 65, 50-55-60) with five division winners.

US Pallet ran the table going 6-0 to win the 70's group with Bank of Rison, Indy 70's and Mokando finishing 2-3-4.

Dr.Vinyl bested MidState 65's 27-14 in the title game to finish ahead of them and 50 Caliber  65's in the 65 group.

In the 80's the Texas Greyhounds avenged and earlier loss to Antiques of KC to finish 5-1 on top of the group with the Antiques at 4-2 for second. Texas Classics (2-4) and Louisville Thunder (1-4) rounded out the four-team division.

The Senior Redbirds edged Midwest Driving 17-16 in the semi-finals and Indianapolis Classics 25-23 in the finals to win the 75 division crown.

The Central Illinois Chiefs 60's beat the 50 Caliber 55's 17-10 to win the 50/55/60 bracket. Team Illinois 50's was third.

Next year's tournament will be around the same time, so save a space on your schedule.

RAYMORE ROUND ROBIN

The SPA Raymore, Missouri Mid-America Qualifier August ROUND ROBIN tournament was a nail biter  with winners not decided until the final games in a couple of brackets.

"It was a well balanced field with a lot of close games," Tournament Director Jerry Hinton said. "They really liked the concept of six games against six different teams, although in a few instances they only had five. But all-in-all it was a great event and we are looking forward to 2018 to increase the turnout."

This year TWENTY teams squared off with EIGHT bringing home titles in the event played  August 11-12 at Rec Park in Raymore.

The 65 AAA was a tournament director's nightmare with three teams having identical 4-2 records, with the winner decided on the tie breaker runs allowed rule.

KC Kids, Boyd Metals and USA Patriots all finished at 4-2 with KC KIDS winning the tie-breaker for the 65 AAA crown. R&D Leverage went home with the 65 AA Crown.

The 70 AAA title went to Bank of Rison who went 6-1 to edge Oakies 70 AAA (5-2).  Midwest Express (3-4) and Mokando (2-5) finished 3 - 4 while MidWest Driving School was the 75 AAA champ.

KC Classics won the 50 AAA championship  and Arkansas 50 won the 50 Major title. Midwest Construction rounded out the field.

SCRAP IRON THUNDER went 4-2 to take the 55 Major crown with Nebraska Silver Bullets (3-3) claiming the 55 AAA championship. Others in the field were Southwest Thunder and JR Logistics.

KC Thunder went 5-0 in winning the 60 AAA title while Bagby's won the  60 AA crown. Also competing were Carriage Homes and KC Monarchs.

The 2018 SPA MID-AMERICA TOURNAMENT will be held in Liberty, Mo's Fountain Bluff Sports Complex August 10-12.