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The Virginia Vipers Softball Club for Veterans had a unique 2020 season. COVID19 wreaked HAVOC on all softball leagues in and around Fairfax County. With so many challenges, the Vipers lost their Five-Sided Vipers Arlington league opportunity in both the spring/summer and fall. However, both the Long-Fanged Vipers and Vintage Vipers were able to compete in a summer Seniors league and a Fall Seniors league. This year had the advent of changing the team names as well. The Long-Fanged Vipers moved from that name to Heroes Athletic Association. Additionally, the charity was proud to add a new team in Manassas run by Chip Campbell and Chris Benoit. However, it was a challenging year for all teams as none of our squads were able to finish 1st or 2nd.
FIVE SIDED VIPERS – SUMMER 2020
Due to the global pandemic, the Five-Sided Vipers (5SV) started in early July 2020 as opposed to early May start. The 5SV’s built and new and strong team to compete in the Prince William County (Manassas) program for the first time in Heroes Athletic Association (HAA) history. The 5SV were led by veteran players, Chip Campbell and Chris Benoit. The team was a mix of other veterans and Viper players such as Matt Benoit, Jim Beatty, Sam Lea, Dave Massey, and Jacob Campbell as well as new local elite players like Marieo Foster, Daniel Gambill, AC Rendon, and Matt Small. With all games at Valley View fields, the 5SV’s played the summer season to a 5-5 record, challenged by the new competition but had a remarkable team chemistry. The new talent attracted by the geographic change led the team with stellar hitting by Marieo and Daniel. Matt Benoit and AC were our defensive Stallworth’s in the outfield. Due to the late start of the season, there was no end-of-season tournament.
LONG FANGED VIPERS (SENIORS – SUMMER D1) – Summer 2020
Due to the global pandemic, the Long-Fanged Vipers (LFV) season started in early July 2020 as opposed to the normal May start. The LFV’s continue to have a strong team as Defending Fall D1 Champions for the first time in Heroes Athletic Association (HAA) history. The LFV had newcomers Nick Bartoo and Greg Housley (House). Chip Campbell and Nick Bartoo were our rookies this year and gave the team some timely offense. The LFV started the season 4 – 6 with 3 of those losses hard fought 1 run losses. Despite those losses the LFV finished the season at 10 – 10. As usual, the team was led in hitting by Troy Weatherholz and our power came from Chip Campbell, Chris Benoit, Chris Jensen and Mike Macrina this year. Due to the late start of the season because of the pandemic there wasn’t a tournament.
VINTAGE VIPERS (SUMMER D2) – summer 2020
The Covid pandemic brought many hurdles to playing softball during the year. Our line up seemed to change on a weekly basis but we persevered and finished in 3rd place with a 10-9-1 record. We incorporated several new players to the squad in the infield and on the mound.
LONG FANGED VIPERS (SENIORS – FALL D1) – Fall 2020
Finally, the Long-Fanged Vipers were able to enjoy a shortened Fall season. Additionally, the team changed names to Heroes Athletic Association and completed 2020 without any particular fanfare. The team was back and enjoyed playing but the games were shortened and concern for the Virus had some of our regular players out for the season. The team finished 3-7 in the fall but enjoyed great hitting from Kevin Campbell, Chip Campbell, Chris Benoit and many others. Alas, it was a tough season.
VINTAGE VIPERS (SENIORS – FALL D2) – FALL 2020
The strength of our team declined as several players opted out of the fall or had injuries and playing conflicts. This became noticeable in our weakened offense and scoring. We continued to constantly support each other throughout each game, finishing the season in 5th place with a 3-7 record. We are eagerly looking forward to a much stronger and successful 2021.
FIVE SIDED VIPERS – FALL 2020 (Manassas)
The 5SV’s led by veteran players, Chip Campbell and Chris Benoit built on the success of the Summer Manassas experiment. The newly established team continued to perform well against the higher competition in Prince William County. The organization of the league was challenged due to weather and managing the COVID protocols, resulting in a shortened 14 game season where again the 5SV finished in the middle of the pack with a .500 record. On the field the elite players such as Marieo Foster, Daniel Gambill, AC Rendon, Matt Benoit and Chip Campbell carried the squad with both stellar hitting and defensive prowess. The veteran Vipers rounded out the team and kept us competitive all season, despite weather, career, and COVID challenges. The 2020 experiment with playing in Manassas was complete and the organization consensus was to move on from this venue and back to Arlington where the game time and dates are more predictable, and the location meets the needs of our players. Due to the late start of the season because of the pandemic there wasn’t a tournament. We thank PWC for allowing us to play and look forward to potentially attracting some of their veteran players to the benefits of our HAA organization. Big thanks to Chip Campbell for chasing down the roster and keeping everyone on track with the changes and challenges of this season.