Beginning in 2021 the Virginia Vipers Softball Association popularity created a growth of the organization into a larger audience and became the Heroes Athletic Association (HAA). The Heroes had a wonderful 2022. The Heroes fielded four teams in the spring/summer competition and three teams in the fall. Gino Yannotti really stood up in support of all Heroes teams. Gino coordinated to ensure all bills for all four teams were paid in a timely manner, communicated with all Senior coaches on weekly rosters, in addition to coaching the teams when possible. Bravo Zulu Gino!
The newly formed Hero Gray Beards started their journey in Fairfax Seniors D4 this summer and won 5 games, setting a new record for a first year start up in the Heroes organization. The Heroes D1 Seniors played summer and fall taking second place in the summer season. The D3 Seniors wrapped up third place.
The Arlington Open team was coached by Chris Benoit, Sam Lea and Matt Benoit coached the Arlington Open and fared well throughout the spring and fall seasons. Our big surprise was that one of our mainstays, Kevin Campbell suffered a stroke and could not play, but the team is rallying around Kevin and encouraging him to get well and back on the field in 2022!
Another great season for the Heroes, as they finish in second place both in league play and the tournament. Lead by Chip Campbell at SS, Mike MaCrina in the outfield, the Heroes played through an incredibly hot summer. The team welcomed Mario Rodriguez for a full season and Ron Stephens as they wished Chris Benoit farewell after a great decade with the Heroes. Chris relocated to Florida. Additionally, Chris Mariani and Patrick Messina arrived at the end of the year to support our success. The Heroes look forward to having both as full time members in the fall.
The 2022 HAA Seniors D1 team had a trying Fall season as they played hard to a 9 – 5 record. Fairfax Adult Softball (league administrators) put the HAA D1 team in a seven-team Division 1 league, but they designated some teams as Division 2 (D2). When playing the D2 teams HAA like other D1 designated teams had to spot the D2 team 5 runs. Mud Dawgs were awarded 2 forfeits and they mutually cancelled the position round and were declared Champions. We played our last two games of the season on Halloween night in the pouring rain, with the attitude that we had all season “Never give up”. We know we can beat anyone in D1 and we will prevail in 2023.
The senior Vintage Heroes team completed a very successful spring finishing the regular season in second place as well as runner-up in the post season tournament. Kudos to all our players who adapted to overcome Covid, travel, injury , and rain outs. Efficient pitching was provided by Tony and Al backed up by a very stingy defense led by Bob’s usual outstanding playmaking. In spite of our lack of consistent power hitting, we scored the second most runs in the division. Bob, Brian, Phil and Dennis had a strong season at the plate. We are looking forward to continuing in the fall as we all shared comradery and fun.
We played in a very competitive fall division but dug ourselves into a hole very early. Out of the gate we did not hit well enough and our run production was below par. We had to juggle our lineup continually during the season due to injury and travel conflicts. We made a final push at the end of the season to finish 7-7 in 4th place. Kudos to John K and Rod F who provided game winning hits during that stretch. Thanks to Bob who came back early from surgery and Steve E who filled in and provided stability to our fielding and pop to the hitting. Dennis K also had a very solid season at the plate. Thanks to Rod’s generosity for providing the post game cold brew refreshments on most nights during 2022. Finally the cold night chill was eased by the propane dugout heater and hot Tennessee Mud beverage service.
The HAA Greybeards (GBs) kicked off our inaugural season for FAS Senior League Division 4 in the summer season of 2022. We had a great turnout with a solid cohort of players, which came in handy because we endured COVID , a myriad of injuries, and a few work conflicts. We finished in eighth place out of twelve teams and came in fifth place at the tournament. The GBs put a competitive team on the field each Monday night, with solid performances from Chuck “Lefty” Whitzel, Brett “Scoop” Andrews, Ron “Like the Wind” Cates, Greg”the Dawg”. Dawson, Larry “The Mountain” Hopkins, Dane “My Hammy” Work, Abed “The Illegal” Elasfari, Don “The Fly Ball” Berchoff and Chris “The Pitch” Mitchell with his better half – Ms Mary ‘the Patreon Saint of the Outfield” Mitchell. And although we never saw him Jay “Fly Boy” Duhadway was with us in spirit.
Additionally perineal players of Chuck ” “Aloha’ Allen, Steve ” Left Coast” Elson, Marty “Runs with Anchor” Chavers and Gino “You Know” Yannottii added to the mix. It’s important to memorialize these names because it is the GBs first season and many players are predicted to be in the Hall of Fame someday, for what I don’t know- but for something. Moreover, we are all looking forward to the 2023 season and what the Graybeards lacked in ability on the field we made up for with camaraderie and friendship at our sponsor Kilroy’s after each game – and that is truly winning! The Graybeards did not play a fall schedule.