- Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 00:56
- Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 00:56
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A new era in summer sports has begun! NSWC employee Doug Cantrell has finally seen his dream come true. On Saturday, at Barnesfield Park, in Dahlgren, softball mania was in full force, as four teams, representing King George, Stafford, and Maryland, played in an American Softball Association Tournament (ASA).
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., four teams played eight games, with the final game as the championship.
It was a beautiful sight to behold, as area sports heroes from the past stepped up to the plate to relive the passion of competition, while rekindling friendships from the past. While it was a trip down memory lane for many, the game represents a springboard for many games to come.
It was the first official sanctioned organized softball game played at Barnesfield in years; however, without the help and fortitude of ASA and King George Parks & Recreation officials, Cantrell’s dream would not have been possible.
While it took a little over a year to get softball back, the real reason I did this is for my son. I want him to grow up in a county where softball is alive, and well.”
“I was focused on bringing softball back to King George, and I knew ASA was our best outlet,” Cantrell said. “I already have a good working relationship with Bobby Collins (ASA & WSL director). Bobby put me in touch with Keith (Douglas, ASA tournament official), and I later contacted King George Parks & Recreation director Tim Smith. While it took a little over a year to get softball back, the real reason I did this is for my son. I want him to grow up in a county where softball is alive and well.”
As a kid, growing up in South Carolina during the 1980s, on Saturday afternoons, Cantrell enjoyed the odyssey associated with fall softball tournaments in nearly every ballpark. Cantrell is also the manager of the softball team, Jåger Bombers.
Instrumental in the process of developing a summer-fall, four tournament schedule for the new tournament softball system, as an ASA official, Douglas has enhanced the competition process by reaching out to teams in Richmond and deep into the far reaches of Maryland. “We realize that the process will take at least three years,” Douglas said. “The county is in the process of re-doing the fields at Barnesfield, where one field is equipped with lights, and two fields are playable in the daylight hours. We have the field capacity to handle a 12-team tournament on any given week.”
Currently, the tournaments are made of men’s teams, but the goal of ASA officials is to expand at Barnesfield with an additional coed tournament featured on Sundays.
Another vision for organized softball in King George is to establish a league. Out of the two King George based teams, half of the players work on the base. “Currently there are six to eight teams that play twice a week at the base,” Cantrell said. “I don’t think it would be very hard to get a good solid league here.”