The Virginia Vipers Softball Club for Veterans had another great season in 2018. The organization sponsored one spring open team, one summer open team, two Senior teams, two fall Seniors teams and a fall open team. 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 operative word in this entire season is RAIN. Our league was soaked week in and week out. To that end, the Five Sided Vipers had a great spring winning their division. Our season went well past the scheduled ten weeks and came down to the last four games of the season played on consecutive nights. The Five Sided squad needed to win 1 of their last 4 and did just that to clinch another league division title. This spring, great play by Chip Campbell, Wes Joyner and big hits from Chris Benoit, Dennis Roberts were key to our 34th division title.
The rains that plagued the last few weeks of the spring season continued throughout the summer. The rainout dates falling on night other than our normal Tuesday made it difficult getting the entire team together for those games. Couple that with the fact that we were moved up to division 1 for summer and it made for a rough time. As usual with this open team, we were much older than our competition. We were able to rally late in the summer to keep from coming in dead last place. Sam Lea & Wes Poyner played well down the stretch. Chip Campbell hammered the softball at will throughout the summer.
The Long Fanged Vipers continue to have a strong team but not strong enough to compete in division 1. The athletes on this team are fabulous but the lineup only has a couple of hitters who are long-ball threats. Many of the Vipers opponents have 3 or 4 players who can hit a dinger at will. As usual, the team was lead in hitting by Troy Weatherholz. Bob Barnes and Milan Peich were defensive gems. Our power came from Chris Benoit, John Letos and Mike Macrina this year as the team finished 3rd overall.
The 2018 season has to be remembered for the wettest ever marked by a ridiculous amount of rained out and rescheduled games. The Vintage Vipers were moved up to play in Seniors D2. In the Late Spring season, where the top half of the league was quite competitive. We finished in First Place with a 15-5 record. Of note was a Lights Out assisted win and completing a season ending Triple play. Team play was very solid where each game a different player made a game saving play/catch or clutch hit. Consistent hitting was provided by Jim Beatty and Matt Dercole while great fielding was added from Steve Elson (SS), Phil Lederer (3B), Steve Calesaric (1B) while Doug Grubbs (P) walked only a few batters.
The weather pushed back both seasons and tournament by two weeks. In addition, player conflicts & some non players in the fall made it difficult to have a similar lineup in the tourney and fall. Our alternates provided great help, making it possible to finish with a 6-4-2 record.
Again, the operative word here is rain. The first month of the season was rained out and the LF Vipers struggled after that to get their games in by playing on alternate nights. The team didn’t even finish playing all 14 games, losing two to the league scheduling and shying away from playing on Halloween night. The fall was very disappointing for the Long Fanged Vipers.
The 2018 fall season saw a continuation of our rain-soaked schedule as we started off rescheduling the first four games. After a while most of the team anticipated the season going into the Thanksgiving holiday, fortunately it didn’t. The Vintage Vipers maintained the competitive spirit and finished third out of seven teams with a 6-4-2 record. Additionally, we welcomed Fred Wells and Dave Ashe to our lineup and enjoyed the competitive contributions from the returning cohort of regulars. Remember as Coach Nolan Rubin says, “We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!”
Viper Nation wishes everyone Happy Holidays, be healthy, and we look forward to seeing everyone in the spring. Also be on the lookout for the winter workout schedule soon – it will probably involve a Glory Days Grill meet-up invitation for a football game.
The Five Sided Vipers were just outmatched by this league. After struggling during the summer, FAS moved the Vipers into a lower division but brought some of the more talented teams into that division. The Vipers ended up last in a division of 4 and would have been farther in the basement had the third place team not taken two forfeits. The Five Sided Vipers start 3 players from the over the 50 team and another 3 players who are well over 40. Competing in this division is not feasible. However, we enjoyed getting to know new players, Brendan Kelly and Zach Perrin. We are currently 120 days-plus from opening day 2019.