SPA News

What's Happening in Senior Softball

Eyes of Texas On Layla Bryan Memorial


GEORGETOWN,TX - The recording stars ALABAMA said, ".....if you're going to play in Texas, you have to have a fiddle in the band."

Senior softball players say, "If you're going to play in TEXAS, you have to play SPA'S LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL tournament."

Not to sound like a broken record but the MCMASTERS ATHLETIC COMPLEX in GEORGETOWN, TEXAS again drew THIRTY PLUS teams to the ANNUAL LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL SPA tournament.

" I think the drawing power of the event is a great tribute to LAYLA," SPA PRESIDENT/CEO RIDGE HOOKS said, "This tournament was LAYLA'S baby, she put her heart and soul into it every year and today it continues to flourish in her memory."

Seven divisional bracket champions were crowned this year starting with HILL CONTRACTING in the four-team 75/80 bracket.

The TEXAS team went 3-0 in bracket play beating TEXAS CLASSICS 24-9, HARRIS AUCTION 18-11 and edging HARRIS AUCTION 12-11 in the title game. ALAMO CITY TRAVELERS rounded out the field.

Five teams squared off in the five-team 70 PLUS group. OKC RELICS ran the table on the way to the title. OKC disposed of STILL (25-10), TEXAS LEGENDS 70's (24-18) and beat the TEXAS LEGENDS again, this time 15-13 for the championship. Others in the bracket were AUSTIN WIZARDS and TEXAS CLASSICS 70's.

In a three-team 65 PLUS SILVER bracket the DALLAS SPURS took the top prize after beating TEXAS RATTLERS (41-19) and TEXAS EAGLES (22-17).

CENTEX 65'S won the 65 PLUS GOLD wrapping it up on a forfeit win over SAN ANTONIO LEGENDS. Earlier CENTEX beat BOYD METALS 29-14 and SAN ANTONIO 23-19. The TEXAS LEGENDS were the fourth team in the bracket.

HOUSTON FIRE beat AUSTIN WIZARDS 18-16, OOPS SOFTBALL 23-8 and TEXAS THUNDER 23-18 in the title game of the five-team 60 PLUS group.

TACOMA MB FLYING also was in the 60 PLUS bracket,


A neighboring state team, TEAM ARKANSAS won the 50 PLUS PLATINUM crown beating TEXAS PLAYERS twice including 37-19 in the title game. The TEXAS PLAYERS reached the finals by knocking off TEXAS MAVERICKS 37-24.

TEXAS ELITE swept the competition in winning the 50 PLUS GOLD bracket championship. TEXAS ELITE beat MIXED BREED 26-15 in the finale. MIXED BREED came out of the loser's bracket by beating AUSTIN ROCK 29-24.

It was a tough tournament for AUSTIN ROCK who lost their two bracket games by a total of only six runs, five runs to MIXED BREED and one run (15-14) to TEXAS ELITE.

SPA will return to the LONE STAR state AUGUST 26-30 when COLLEGE STATION will host the SPA SALUTE TO VETERANS NIT.

Please contact SPA OFFICE at (405) 376-7034 or E-MAIL for further information.

SPA 2015 Montgomery Tournament Tops Forty Teams


 MONTGOMERY, ALABABMA - Combine a great location with the reputation of a well-run tournament and the result is predictable.

For the third straight year the SOUTHERN SPA NIT IN MONTGOMERY ALABAMA an increased attendance, this year attracting FORTY TEAMS.

 Over the past three years the MONTGOMERY TOURNAMENT has increased from thirty teams to thirty-five teams and this year to forty teams,” SPA PRESIDENT RIDGE HOOKS said, “ That is an increase of over ten-percent each year and this year's total of FORTY TEAMS is higher than THIRTY-SEVEN other senior tournaments conducted east of VEGAS by all other senior organizations in 2014.”

 Tournament Director for the 2015 MONTGOMERY TOURNAMENT DON CHERRY also was excited about the continued increase in teams.

 The increase has a lot to do with LAGOON PARK ,” CHERRY said, “ LAGOON PARK is one of the best complexes on the senior softball circuit and the people in charge of the facility do a tremendous job in keeping it that way. we had a great tournament with lots of new teams and new winners”

 The forty-team tournament at MONTGOMERY, MARCH 12-15 saw EIGHT CHAMPIONS crowned in the 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70 age groups.

 ADIKTIVE MERCHANTS ran the table in the 50 MAJOR BRACKET downing TEAM ARKANSAS (31-14), DOC C'S (34-33), MONSTER SOFTBALL (32-25) and MONSTER SOFTBALL again, this time in the title game 35-24 to take the top prize.

 Others in the six team bracket were ALABAMA BRICK and ATLANTA MONRACH MIKENS.

In the 50 AAA team, another GEORGIA TEAM, MAJOR LEAGUE MIKEN, went home with the “brass ring”.

 MAJOR LEAGUE MIKEN downed AFINITY ELEVATOR 10-5 and BLUEGRASS SOFTBALL twice (20-15, 28-15) for the 50 AAA crown.

 Filling out the five-team bracket were MONTGOMERY SWARM and NORTH GEORGIA OUTLAWS,

 Three teams battled in the 50/55 MAJOR PLUS BRACKET with TSC MIKEN coming out on top, TSC had to beat PLE 41-34 in the “IF” game to escape with the title after PLE forced the deciding match with 31-25 win over the “champs”.

 NEXT LEVEL was the third team in the field

 TENNESSEE'S EDGE SOFTBALL bested FLORIDA'S DAVID BOWEN SPORTING GOODS 34-15 and 23-22 in a best two-out-of-three showdown for the 5/60 MAJOR CROWN.

 The 55AAA title went to DT EXPRESS, who had to survive a late rush by GAS.

 In the four-team bracket, DT EXPRESS sent GAS into the loser's bracket with a 19-18 win in the opener. The EXPRESS gang took care of the BAMA OLD GUYS 31-20 in the next game and then sat back and waited for their next opponent.

 In the meantime, GAS eliminated JR TRUCKING 24-9 and the BAMA OLD GUYS 17-7 to earn another shot at DT EXPRESS. This time GAS won 24-15 to force an “IF” game. The title game was close all the way but DT EXPRESS held on for the 16-12 win and claim the 55 AAA crown.

 SIX TEAMS squared off in the 60 BRACKET with RANDY SMITH going undefeated to win the championship. It wasn't easy though as the champs had to survive a pair of one-run wins on their way to the title.

 RANDY SMITH knocked off COLUMBUS LX 24-19 and BOYS OF SUMMER 23-22 before beating COLUMBUS LX 16-15 in the title match.

 COLUMBUS LX after losing the opener to RANDY SMITH beat ATLANTA RECYCLING, STRYKERS and BOYS OF SUMMER to make it to the championship game.

DIXIE SOFTBALL and RANEW rounded out the six-team bracket.

 MUSTANGS won the four-team 65 BRACKET with three straight wins over EXTREME HEAT and HUFFMAN ELECTRIC twice.

 SLO SOX was the fourth team in the bracket.

 SOUTHEAST LEFTOVERS made up for their 2014 runner-up spot by winning this year's 70/75 title. The 75 MAJOR LEFTOVERS claimed the crown beating 70 AAA BROOKS AND CRIM 12-11 and 75 MAJOR ED'S ALUMINUM 20-4.

 The 75 AAA GEORGIA CLASSICS filled out the four team bracket.

"It was a great tournament and we expect to increase attendance again next year," concluded CHERRY.



 DALTON, GEORGIA – If ever a team lived up to their name it was the CHICAGO HITMEN, who captured the SPA 2014 WORLD 65 AA CHAMPIONSHIP at DALTON, GEORGIA'S HERITAGE POINT PARK, SEPTEMBER 11-14.

Over seven games (3 pool, 4 bracket) the HITMEN batted .769 outscored their opponents 152 (21.7) to 90 (12.8) and won all seven games in the nine-team 65 AA field.

We did hit well but it wasn't as easy as it sounds,” SPA 65 AA MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR MIKE SABATINO said, “In three of the games including the final two we trailed by at least five runs heading into the 5th inning.”

The games SABATINO was referring to were the tournament pool play opener against the DAYTON LEGENDS and the two final bracket games against THE FIRM.

Against DAYTON, the WINDY CITY guys trailed 21-12 heading into the seventh and erupted for 10 runs to win 22-21.

Against THE FIRM in the winner's bracket, the HITMEN rallied from a 17-12 deficit in the fifth inning to erupt for 22 runs in the final innings for a 34-17 win.

The championship game against THE FIRM was almost a duplication as the HITMEN trailed 18-12 fifth inning. They responded by scoring five runs in the sixth inning and 14 in the seventh for 31-20 championship clinching win.

SABATINO claims the way his team continually responded was due to patience, attitude and never giving up, even when they were behind. They gave it best they had.

We just had less talk and more action,” SABATINO said, “We never lost our confidence, kept our composure and always we believed we had the talent to rally back and win every game we played.”

The manager also stated they never take any team for granted and are usually prepared when they face that team in the tournament.

I scout each team during pool play and early bracket games so as to know what to expect,” he stated, “You can never take any team for granted and in tournament play you need every edge you can have and I believe scouting and knowing your opponent is a huge edge.”

Another edge the HITMEN have is they have nine players who who have been together since 2008. Over that span the team has won 70-percent of their tournament games but this is their first SPA WORLD TITLE.

We have come close a few times but this is the first time we have all been healthy coming to the tournament and that really made a difference,' SABATINO said.

The nine who have been with the team for the ten years are: STEVE DECORI (RC, .741), JOHN DOYLE (DNP), FELIX GARCIA (3B,.680), CO-MANAGER JIM KUPIEC (P. .800), RICK MASINO (P,.610), SABATINO (RF,.680), PHIL WHITMAN (C, .650), STEVE GAJDA (SS, .680) and DAN TODD (LF, .667).


The speedy left center fielder in addition to making outstanding defensive plays with both his arm and glove batted .852 to lead the team in hitting.



DOMINIC has been sponsoring area softball and little league teams for at least 15 years and has been our sponsor since 2004,” SABATINO said, “He is really a great guy and his SEAFOOD is top of the line. He also ships from west coast to east coast and anywhere in-between"

Although the HITMEN have won other tournaments over the years, SABATINO says the team peaked at DALTON.

As a team. That is the best we have ever played in our history,” he stated,”We were patient at the plate and made the big plays on defense, If we needed a big hit or big defensive play we made it happen. We really played great.”

The manager also stated the secret to his team's success over the years is ,”.....we are like brothers, there are no ego trips. We all get along.”

As for the SPA, SABATINO gave both RIDGE HOOKS, the staff and the tournament high marks.

RIDGE (HOOKS) is a tremendous guy and runs a great tournament, it is first class,” he said, “ We loved the opening ceremony and the umpires were the best we have seen all year.. Every team in the tournament was tough and a great bunch of guys. It was a great tournament.”

I just wish SPA had tournaments closer to CHICAGO, so we could attend more SPA events. Maybe they can do that in 2015.”



SHELBYVILLE, INDIANA – Senior Softball's longest running MID-WEST tournament, the HOOSIER CLASSIC celebrated its 19th consecutive year entertaining thirty-three teams July 15-20 at SHELBYVILLE'S BLUE RIVER PARK.

“The HOOSIER CLASSIC is by far one of the best senior tournaments going,” SPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RIDGE HOOKS said, “How can you argue with success. Nineteen consecutive years, that is fantastic.”

“DWAINE LAIRD started this tournament years ago and today ED WEST along with GEORGE LANE and R.C.BROWN have continued to make the HOOSIER CLASSIC one of the most respected senior softball tournaments not only in SPA but in the entire senior softball program,” HOOKS added.

Limited by only having four fields, the 2014 SPA HOOSIER CLASSIC again reached the maximum amount of teams with thirty-three visiting BLUE RIVER PARK. Ten champions were crowned AA/AAA double-elimination event.

KENTUCKY team BORROMEOS took home the 50 AAA title edging INDIANA'S CIRCLE CITY PLAYMAKERS 17-16 in the championship game. BLUEGRASS SOFTBALL was the third team in the group.

A home state team, ANTIQUE ROADSHOW narrowly held off SIX PACK 22-21 IN THE 55 AAA FINALE. SIX PACK made it to the championship game by slipping by LOUISVILLE OG'S 18-17.

It was a CANADIAN HOLIDAY as CAVCO came south of the border to beat INDY FOG 19-13 for the 60 AA crown. The DAYTON LEGENDS rounded out the three-team bracket.

The ZEPPELINS won a nail-biter in the 60 AAA GOLD brackets. The ZEP'S held on for a narrow 18-17 over UNIVERSAL SOFTBALL. The KC THUNDER finished third.

(BY) GRACE REDEEMED beat THE BOMB SQUAD twice (33-19, 20-19) to finish on top of the podium in the 60 AAA SILVER BRACKET. SYLVANIA, OHIO'S MAUMEE BAY RAPTORS was the third team in the group.

JIM & JOE'S went 3-0 beating the INDIANA LEGENDS 15-7, KENTUCKIANA 16-12 and the INDIANA LEGENDS again, this time 28-12 to win the 65 AA BRACKET.

US JOBS kept the 65 AAA title in the home state beating DOC MARTENS 16-13 in the title game. Leading up to the finale, US JOBS had a pair of close calls edging DOC MARTENS 22-21 and MID STATES SENIORS 18-17.

Five teams went after the bacon in the 70 AA BRACKET and when the dust had cleared, CENTRAL OHIO COSSA stood at the top of the heap.

COSSA beat MID STATE SRS 15-9 and JOB CENTRAL 24-18 before disposing of SENIOR RED BIRDS 26-18 in the championship game. The other team in the field was the COLUMBUS SILVER STICKS.

The INDY CROWNS ran the table beating CHICAGO GEEZERS 23-17, PFEIFFERS AUTO 30-29 and PFEIFFERS AUTO again (21-20) for the 75 AAA GOLD title. PRO HEALTH CARE rounded out the bracket.

The LOUISVILLE THUNDER downed the SILVER FOXES (22-6) and the MICGIGAN LAKERS twice by scores of 14-13 and 24-15 for the 75 AAA SILVER CHAMPIONSHIP.

The seven team tour out for the 75's DIVISION championship was the third highest gathering of 75's in any senior softball tournament, regardless of the organization, east of Vegas. Only THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC and the SPA 75's WORLDS had more.



 SYLVANIA, OHIO – The SPA 2014 SYLVANIA GREAT LAKES NIT TOURNAMENT continues to carry a “SUPERIOR RATING” as far as senior softball teams are concerned.

The fourth year of the GREAT LAKES event, held at OHIO'S SYLVANIA, RECREATION'S PACESETTER PARK JULY 31-AUGUST 3, saw an increase in participation with FORTY-ONE TEAMS participating in the seven divisional brackets. It was the third growth year in a row for one of SPA'S most popular tournaments.

We not only are growing but for the first time we brought in teams from the east coast,” SYLVANIA TOURNAMENT REPRESENTATIVE JERRY KEEFE said,” That shows our reputation as a quality tournament is spreading. In addition to CANADIAN, MICHIGAN,OHIO and INDIANA teams we also had teams from CHICAGO, PITTSBURGH and NEW JERSEY.”

A lot of the credit for the recognition the GREAT LAKES TOURNEY is receiving should go to JAKE HENSEL, SYLVANIA RECREATION PROGRAM DIRECTOR and SPA REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE LARRY MILLIRON.” KEEFE added.” They both do a great job and their efforts along with the PARK'S grounds crew reflects why this tournament is so well received.”

The tournament's largest group, the 60 AAA, saw eight teams battle for the championship with UNIVERSAL SOFTBALL beating the “home town” MAUMEE BAY RAPTORS twice for the title. The COLUMBUS team won 24-16 in the title match and 23-22 in an earlier bracket game.

UNIVERSAL also beat CARR'S SHELL 25-10 and MINUTEMEN/PEPCO 16-10. The RAPTORS reached the title game by beating CHICAGO PRIME 17-6.

The other teams in the bracket were THE BOMB SQUAD, PRONIO SPORTS and OHIO SILVERADO'S. The EIGHT teams in the 65 AAA DIVISION was the fifth highest entry total of any senior softball tournament east of VEGAS.

The GREAT LAKES also had the second highest total of attendees in the 70 AA and 70 AAA, ranking only behind THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC for all tournaments to date in senior softball east of VEGAS.

The 70 AAA DIVISION went to another COLUMBUS team as CENTRAL OHIO COSSA defeated MICHIANA MERCHANTS 17-14 in an “IF” game. The winners had forced the “showdown game” by beating MICHIANA 19-12 which also avenged an earlier 23-15 defeat at the hands of the team from ”UP NORTH”.

COSSA also had the distinction of playing the most games in the tournament They lost their second bracket game and had to fight their way out of the loser's bracket which forced them to play seven games to win it all.

COSSA'S other wins were 13-7 over JOB CENTRAL, 16-15 over BRANTFORD NISSAN, 8-5 against DORCHESTER CANADIANS and PITTSBURGH GOLD 21-16. AKRON BRENNANS was the other team in the seven-team bracket.

In the six-team 70 AA bracket the DAYTON LEGENDS edged FRICKER'S SPORTS BAR SYLVANIA 19-18 for the title. The DAYTON squad beat CHICAGO GREY SOX (15-0) and MISSISSAUGA LEGENDS 11-7 on the way to the crown.

FRICKERS beat CHICAGO (15-0) and MISSISSAUGA (16-12) to earn their spot in the finals. Others in the field were OLDE D'S and INDIANAPOLIS CLASSICS.

The four-team 60 AA title went to BRANTFORD NISSAN who swept bracket play beating MISSISSAUGA LEGENDS (22-13), CAVCO (19-15) and DAYTON (24-10). MISSISSAUGA made the finals by edging CAVCO 24-23.

The HAWKS NEST took no prisoners in easily going 4-0 in the six-team 65 AAA group. The PENNSYLVANIA team beat BRANTFORD NISSAN 21-14 in the finals after beating NEW JERSEY MASTERS 28-17, RUSH TRUCKING 27-16 and MICHIGAN LAKERS 32-21 in earlier games.

BRANTFORD beat the NEW JERSEY MASTERS 26-25 to make it to the title game. SYLVANIA 65's rounded out the field.

The WINDSOR CHIEFS 55's added an INTERNATIONAL flavor to the awards celebrations as the CANADIAN team nipped the GOLDEN VIPERS 20-19 for the five-team 55's DIVISION top spot.

The CHIEFS also beat BANKER AND MANN SOFTBALL 18-12 and the VIPERS 21-6 to go 3-0 in bracket play. The VIPERS made it to the finals by beating BANKER AND MANN SOFTBALL 19-10.


PDC also went undefeated in bracket play (3-0) to take home the top prize in the 50'S five-team group. The champs beat DAYTON LEGENDS HITMEN 26-25, JJ FINANCIAL EAGLES 23-15 and DAYTON LEGENDS HITMEN (earlier game) 21-18.

DAYTON slid by JJ FINANCIAL 18-17 to earn their spot in the finals. Others in the field were SYLVANIA EAGLES and WINDSOR FOG.

KEEFE summarized, “Good teams and good competition help make a good tournament and we had both this year and are eagerly looking forward to 2015 in hopes of reaching our goal of FIFTY TEAMS. Teams should watch for e-mails as soon as our dates are finalized.”



  SYLVANIA, OHIO – Sylvania, Ohio has become one of the fastest growing success stories in not only SPA but in all of senior softball.

 In eight years the SYLVANIA SENIOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE has grown from one ten team league to two leagues with twenty teams and nearly 300 participants from age 50 up.

 In addition, the four-year old SPA SYLVANIA GREAT LAKES NIT CLASSIC, spearheaded by members from the SYLVANIA organization, is now in the top sixteen attended senior softball tournaments among all SPA, SSUSA and ISSA senior tournaments east of Las Vegas.

 Although he won't take all the credit he deserves, JERRY KEEFE has been the major moving factor in both.

 It took a lot of people not just one to get the ball moving to form the League and the tournament,” KEEFE said, “ GORDON HIRSCH, BRUCE ANDERSON, GARY MEYER and myself got the idea to start a senior league back in 2008 and that is how it started.”

 Most of the original members of the League came from the East Toledo organization and really weren't happy with the ETO.

 Borrowing on his marketing skills as MARKETING DIRECTOR for TOLEDO JEWELERS, KEEFE organized a marketing plan that would make any organization proud.

 Using a newspaper blitz in all papers within a FIFTY-MILES radius, he promoted and advertised for senior softball players. He then devised a mailing list using names of former players from rec leagues the quartet knew and topped it off with a phone blitz.

 Reaching potential customers, advertising the product and then selling it is the secret to any marketing plan and it really worked well for us,” KEEFE said.

 Another major factor in getting the league going and keeping it growing in popularity since 2008 has been sponsors.

 We couldn't keep our price per player down without sponsors,” KEEFE stated,”Without them it would cost players over $100 to sign-up in the League as opposed to the $70 we now receive”.

 The sponsors take care of the team shirts and hats and the league's biggest expense then are the field rentals and year-end awards. Members of all the league championship teams receive jackets and we also have additional individual awards at the Leagues Awards and Recognition Banquets,” he explained.

 Foremost among the sponsors is FRICKERS SPORTS BAR in SYLVANIA. Owner RAY FRICK sponsors six teams in the twenty-team league. He also backs the 70'S FRICKERS SPORTS BAR travel team and is constantly contributing additional money to the organizations operation.

 Speaking of tournament teams, there are travel teams in the 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70 teams from the SYLVANIA league.

 Having travel teams has also helped increase our membership as members look forward to playing in different locations like Columbus, Barberton, Dayton and Shelbyville, “ KEEFE explained. “Maybe in a few years we can go to DALTON and other SPA tournaments.”

 Attending SPA tournaments in BARBERTON and COLUMBUS also gave KEEFE the idea to have a senior tournament in SYLVANIA.

 I contacted SSUSA and SPA but nobody was interested in us,” KEEFE explained, “But that changed when SPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RIDGE HOOKS met with me at THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC TOURNAMENT in JUNE, 2011 and talked with me about the possibility.”

 I was thinking, yeah right, you will probably forget about me and SYLVANIA as soon as you get back to OKLAHOMA. BOY WAS I WRONG!!.”

 HOOKS flew to SYLVANIA in JULY to meet with KEEFE and PACESETTERS ROB CONOVER about SYLVANIA hosting a tournament.

 He followed that up with another meeting in DECEMBER and shortly thereafter the SYLVANIA GREAT LAKES NIT was born.

 Just like the creation of the SYLVANIA SOFTBALL LEAGUE, getting the tournament started also was not a one-man operation,” KEEFE said, “In addition to ROB CONOVER and PACESETTER PARK, we received a lot of help from SPA's LARRY MILLIRON and HO HOFFMAN, especially through promoting our tournament at THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC and on their web site. HO and RED BOLE also furnished us with their data base of over 200 teams with names, e-mails and phone numbers we could contact about our tournament.”

 KEEFE and the SYLVANIA tournament might have needed help at the start but now they are not only running on their own, but also helping other SPA tournaments directors.

 In his marketing mailer about the SYLVANIA tournament, KEEFE also promotes THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC, COLUMBUS and other area SPA tournaments.

 Those tournaments are always promoting our tournament on newsletters, web sites and handouts at their tournament, so we do the same for them,” KEEFE explained, 'I have found if SPA area tournaments work together to promote each other, we all benefit.”

 The SYLVANIA League also has one of the best marketing tools in senior softball with their own web page at Lots of interesting articles, player profiles, current news and archives.

 However, it also has one of the best photo shoots in any senior web site. JOEL HANSON does a fantastic job with his pics on teams, individuals, sponsors, awards and such.

 Surprisingly, the one thing KEEFE is most proud of is not the tournament or the league but rather a special event put on by SYLVANIA LEAGUE COMMISIONER JAY SCHRAMM and members of the SYLVANIA SENIOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE.

 In MAY, SCHRAMM along with the league organization raised over $30,000 for the WOUNDED WARRIORS PROJECTS. It was done mainly through a triple header softball event featuring WOUNDED WARRIORS, SYLVANIA POLICE. SYLVANIA FIREMEN and SYLVANIA LEAGUE players among others.

 There was also a number of other fund raisers and activities.

 KEEFE and SCHRAMM both agree there should be more to senior softball then just wins and losses.

 With the creation of the SYLVANIA SENIOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE and the tournament, seniors have found an outlet to participate in an activity that they had previously given up on,” KEEFE summarized, “At SYLVANIA PACESETTER PARK, senior players have found their own “Field of Dreams”

 And you really couldn't ask for more.



KNOXVILLE TENNESSEE – The SPA Women made their first trip to KNOXVILLE'S CASSWELL COMPLEX July 9-13 to add another tournament to SPA'S growing list of women's events.

We are slowly but surely adding new tournaments to the women's program,” SPA PRESIDENT RIDGE HOOKS said, “Women's senior softball is one of the fastest growing sports participation activities in amateur sports today and we (SPA) are happy to continue to play an important part in its development.”

Two champions were crowned in the women's 70 DIVISION with the BLUE CHICS taking home the 70 AAA top prize while the OHIO TRI STARS earned the 70 MAJOR top spot.

The OHIO team claimed the title with a pair of bracket wins, first disposing of the CHATTANOOGA CHARGERS 15-0 and then the BLUE CHICS 26-12.

The BLUE CHICS handled two other 70's teams, downing the CLASSICS 18-5 and CHATTANOOGA LEGENDS 17-16. The GOLDEN GIRLS was the fifth team in the bracket.

In the 60/65 BRACKET, NOR EASTERS finished on top of the 60's podium while SMOKEY MOUNTAIN STARS were the 65's champs.

The road to the title wasn't easy for NOR EASTERS as they had to go to an “IF” game to win it. They started bracket play with wins over SMOKEY MOUNTAIN STARS (18-5) and SOUTHERN STARS (10-6) before the SOUTHERN STARS came out of the loser's bracket to hang an 18-9 thrashing on the NOR EASTERS forcing the “IF” game.

The NOR EASTERS settled down in the “IF” game to rebound with a 17-8 payback victory for the championship over the SOUTHERN STARS.

The 65 title boiled down to a one game nail biter SMOKEY MOUNTAIN STARS showdown 16-15 win over the GOLDEN GALS for the title.





 JOHNSON CITY, TENNESSEE – THE SPA 2014 TOM WILLIAMS MEMORIAL at WINGED DEER PARK didn't have any representatives from the JERSEY BOYS or BEATLES at the tournament but there were enough 60 and 65 DIVISION TEAMS to again make the event a success.

The TOM WILLIAMS MEMORIAL is fast becoming a refuge for 60 and 65 division teams looking for a good competitive 60/65 only event.

Celebrating it's 22nd year, the TOM WILLIAMS MEMORIAL drew 13 teams who battled it out for the four division crowns.

REALITY CHECK certainly got it's money's worth as they battled out of the loser's bracket to win the 60 GOLD DIVISION by beating BOYS OF SUMMER 22-16 in the “IF” game.

REALITY CHECK started bracket play beating CHARLOTTE SENIOR SPORTS 18-9 before losing 23-12 to BOYS OF SUMMER. They returned to their winning ways beating CHARLOTTE 21-6 in the loser's bracket finals and forced the “IF” game with a 21-16 victory against BOYS OF SUMMER.

FLIP DOW BONDING 60'S won the 60 SILVER bracket going 2-0 in bracket play beating TENNESSE SENIORS twice 22-9 and 23-8 in the championship game. The TENNESSEE earned their spot in the finals by beating TRI-CITIES 60;s 22-5 in the LOSER'S BRACKET finals.

FLIP DOW BONDING 65's followed the lead of their younger “brothers” by claiming the 65 GOLD TITLE with wins over TENNESSEE RV (14-11) and CHARLOTTE SENIOR SPORTS 65's twice (18-8, 13-12)

SPORTS LETTERING outdistanced three others in the 65 SILVER GROUP to stand alone at the top of the podium.

The champs beat TRI-CITIES 70's 22-15 in the title game. Their other bracket wins were 16-14 over TRI-CITIES 65's and TRI-CITIES 70's 17-12.

TRI-CITIES 70's reached the title game by beating PATRICK HENRY 27-16 in the LOSER'S BRACKET FINALE.




LOST MOUNTAIN, GEORGIA – Despite having to move the SPA 2014 PEACH STATE CLASSIC from AL BISHOP'S COMPLEX (MARIETTA, GEORGIA) to LOST MOUNTAIN PARK at POWDER SPRINGS the tournament still bettered last year's total drawing THIRTY-SEVEN teams.

 We knew last year that the AL BISHOP COMPLEX where we usually hold the tournament would be under renovation in 2014, so we planned ahead to use POWDER SPRINGS,” TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR ROBBIE FAUCETT said.

 PLANNING is the key word for a FAUCETT - run tournament as he leaves nothing to chance. He usually starts his planning for the PEACH STATE CLASSIC six months ahead of time and that is why the tournament is always SPA'S highest attended tournament in the South.

 It was no different this year as EIGHT DIVISION CHAMPS were crowned in the 50-thru-75 age brackets in the JUNE 26-29 tournament..

 IBALZ SOFTBALL was focused in on the assignment at hand beating N.GA. OUTLAWS two out of three for the 50 AAA TITLE.

 IBALZ SOFTBALL won 20-18, 18-19 and 23-15 in the deciding game for the championship.

 There was a little more action in the 50-MAJOR BRACKET with seven teams battling it out for the the top spot.

 In the end it was ATLANTA MONARCHS running the table with wins over TENNESSE COMETS 35-22, LANGSTON PAINTING REVENGE BAITS POWER FORCE 13-10, MONSTER SOFTBALL 29-27 and DOC C'S 26-13 in the title game.


 It took three games to decide the winner of the 50-MAJOR PLUS BRACKET in a two team battle between T.S.C. And ADIKTIV SPORTS. The teams split the first two games with T.S.C. winning 38-33 and ADIKTIVE SPORTS taking it's game 27-22.

 In a scoring bonanza T.S.C edged ADIKTIV SPORTS 39-35 for the championship.

 In a six-team battle for the 55-AAA title DAVID BOWEN SPORTING GOOD took no prisoners sweeping aside GEORGIA ALABAMA SNIORS (GAS) 20-19, DIXIE EXPRESS 23-21 and G.A.S. again, this time in the finals 23-9.

 ATLANTA RECYCLING SOLUTION LLC, (BY) GRACE REDEEMED and DT EXPRESS were the other teas in the bracket.

 The 60 AAA DIVISION saw 4:13 RIMFIRE go 3-0 in bracket play to best the other four teams in the group. RIMFIRE BEAT STRYKERS 28-14, ELITE 60'S 33-16 and 22-16 to claim the top spot.

 Others in the bracket were BOYS OF SUMMER and T.A.G.

 EDGE SOFTBALL downed COLUMBUS LX 34-20 and CAROLINA COBRA'S twice (29-25, 22-21) to take the three-team 60 MAJOR CROWN.

 The 65 AAA BRACKET saw HUFFMAN ELECTRIC go undefeated in four bracket games to win the six-team division title.

 HUFFMAN beat EXTREME HEAT (15-8), S.E. LEFTOVERS (23-14) and SPORTS LETTERING 65's twice (14-5, 21-14) to take home the top prize. Others in the field were TEAM ABC and TENNESSE R.V.

 The 70 AAA went to SENIOR MOMENTS after they beat the GEORGIA NUGGETS 14-8 in the title determining “IF” game.

 The NUGGETS forced the “IF” game coming out of the loser's bracket to defeat SENIOR MOMENTS 16-14.

 Others participating in the six-team field were LEIDEN'S LEGENDS, SPORTS LETTERING 70'S, GEORGIA CLASSICS and CRIM'S BORDER STATES 70'S..