The Virginia Vipers Softball Club for Veterans had an interesting 2014. During the August Fairfax Adult Softball Hall of Fame ceremony, the VVSC for Veterans were one of two teams elected into the Hall of Fame. The Vipers became the 2nd team to be inducted as a team. Synonymous with good sportsmanship, solid teams and an appreciation for all facets of the game including the umpires, the Vipers were overwhelmingly elected in the class of 2014. We appreciate all of our sponsors who have helped us since 1997 create this fabulous group supporting our active military, veterans and their spouses. Thank you.
The 2014 Spring Vipers Open team had a successful season, recording a 15-5 overall record. 3 of the 5 losses were to the eventual division champion by a total of 4 runs. The team was led by the solid hitting of Joe Boland, Jimmy Sneed, and Dave Obstgarten as the 3 combined for 75 hits over 110 at bats. Matt White was the Vipers most consistent Viper contributor leading the team in runs, RBI’s and triples. Sam Lea and Andy Pierce combined to pitch solidly all year and keep the Vipers in contention on a weekly basis. Defensively, Steve Gooding, Richie Lindsay and Eric Myers locked down key defensive positions on a weekly basis. The Vipers look forward to continuing their string of success next year in FAS.
Certainly an interesting season for the Five-Sided Vipers as they finished at 11-9 but struggled to be competitive. As one team member put it, it is obvious that the league thinks highly of us by putting us into the Hall of Fame but they forget that this group of guys started together in 1997 and none of us have been able to overcome “Father Time.” Lead by a group of younger players, the Vipers fought their way to overcome mediocrity and finish at 11-9. DROC or Dennis Roberts lead our team with a .714 average followed by John Kulifay’s .688 average. Co-founder, Jimmy Sneed lead the team in hits with 41 and Geoff Putnam had the best eye on the team with 19 walks. He turned his cleats in at the end of the season for a set of loafers so he would be more comfortable negotiating his way to the white bag down the first base line.
Another division championship season for the 10-4 Vipers as the team enjoyed a combined batting average of just under .600 (.577). Lead by Charles Guzek, Dave Obstgarten and Jimmy Sneed, the Vipers competed very well throughout the season qualifying for an opportunity to play in the highest bracket for the playoffs. Finishing 2nd in the most competitive bracket of the playoffs was quite an accomplishment as the Vipers continue to excel at the Masters level. New addition, Brian Neal lead the team in triples and played a solid outfield while Dave Obstgarten lead the Vipers in slugging percentage. Jimmy Sneed lead the team in hits again with Charles Guzek knocking in the majority of the runs for the Vipers.
The Long Fanged Vipers merged teams this year with the Destroyers who have been with FAS for over 28 years. Nolan Rubin and Gino Yannotti worked well with each other and gelled very quickly as a winning team. This Seniors team finished the regular season at 14 – 6, but were 14 – 4 and in second place before playing the first place team in the position round (technically finishing 2nd) and finished third in the tournament. The Long Fanged Vipers were in contention all season for the championship. Next season the Long Fanged Vipers plan to expand on this year’s success and should have the core of the team back.
This Vipers squad was supposed to be made up of the same players as the successful spring team; however, a few of the regulars could not play, and professional and family commitments impacted the team. Every week, the Vipers sported a new lineup, and the inconsistency in the lineup resulted in inconsistency on the field. The hot bats from spring suddenly went cold and, for the first time in a long time, a Division 1 Vipers squad scored fewer runs than it allowed. Despite the multiple iterations of last-minute lineups, the Vipers played competitively and finished 3rd in a division that saw five teams competing for that spot in the last week of play. The team finished with a record of 8-6, handing the 1st place team one of its two losses. Highlights were the steady pitching of Sam Lea, along with the willingness of regulars such as Joe Boland and Kevin Stonesifer to play positions that they don’t normally play. Pitcher Andy Pierce added a future Viper with the birth of his son.
The fall 2014 was very disappointing in record but a great group of guys who really enjoyed playing together. We fortunate to add Tyler Burriss, Troy Kaster and Jim Ragusa to the roster to help us and all three were great additions. Sporting a 2-10 record and two no-competes, the team had issues playing in Thursday night Division 2; that was more to do with poor judgment from FAS as we warned the league that this team had an average age over 42 years old and this Viper squad was not an elite team any longer. The team was proud to have completed the season without forfeiting. The Five Sided Vipers enjoyed the offensive leadership of John Letos, Jimmy Sneed and Matt Benoit (son of long-time Viper, Chris Benoit). The Five Sided Vipers look forward to competing in 2015.
The Vipers finished their second season in the Herndon Over 40 league with a 19-11 record and a second place finish. We once again were chasing Glory Days who won the league with a 24-6 record. It was our second straight second place finish. Chris Benoit took the batting title for the team with a final average of .784 just ahead of Jimmy Sneed .771 average. Jimmy led the team in hits with 81, runs scored with 66, doubles with 30, and RBIs with 80. Sean Shemanski and Chris let the team with 4 homers. We followed up the strong regular season with a second place finish in the playoff tournament as well. With several key additions planned for 2015 the Vipers are looking to take this league next year.