Swing faster to get home safely

Co-ed softball may be the craze now
but in a few weeks another form of softball hits the scene.

The local fast-pitch softball
league is slated to begin Sunday 21 February.

An opening ceremony is slated to
take place at 10am on the West
Bay softball field
adjacent to the Jimmy Powell cricket oval.

Thereafter three games will be
played at roughly 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm.

A softball social is expected to be
held next Tuesday evening. At press time there were no specifics on that event.

Consisting of a male and female
division the league is Cayman’s equivalent to a baseball competition.

Both divisions feature four teams.
The men’s section sees returning champions Latinos taking on the Jose Escape
Pirates, Old Providence and new club Team English.

On the women’s side defending
champions Cayman Auto Diagnostic Services Stingers face off with the Fidelity
Challengers, Wildcats and team Extreme (formerly the Rangers for many years).

The men’s league is slated to play
on Sundays on the West Bay field while the women’s group will play on
Sundays at West Bay
and Saturdays at the Field of Dreams facility in George Town.

Running this year’s competition is
league coordinator Marlon Thomas. A constant on the field for Jose’s Escape,
Thomas has been synonymous with softball for about 25 years.

Thomas talked about how the league
turned out last year.

 “The previous season was very interesting with
all the fans. A lot of people came out to watch the games. In fact each team
had their own fans. Interestingly Latinos had the most fans.

“All in the men’s league was very
competitive as any team could beat any other team.

“The female section came down to
Rangers, Wildcats and Stingers. It was a good competition but the champion was
always going to be decided among those three.”

A new team is not the only change
slated for the league this year. Almost every team made moves in the off-season
to bolster their cause this year.

Thomas talked a little about the shake-ups
seen around the league.

“The Challengers in the women’s
league now have some more players and should be in the thick of the standings.

“Meanwhile the men’s league is
different as a few players left their teams to join the new club. Everyone knows
Robert Harris (the captain for Team English) and a lot of guys joined him in an
effort to make them competitive.

“A lot of Rob’s guys have played in
the co-ed league. It’s essentially a corporate league and we’ll see how their
skills translate to fast-pitch softball.”

Aside from all of those changes one
of the interesting aspects of the league is the continued presence of strong family
links.

Roughly three father-son duos exist
in Rupert Whittaker Senior and sons Albert and Rupert Whittaker Jr, Rolfo Whittaker
Snr and son Rolfo Jr and Johnny Johnson Snr and Johnny Jr.

Interestingly the sons in those
duos all played on the City Slickers co-ed softball team last year.

 Teams in both leagues are still in search of
players for the seasons.

Anyone interested should contact
Marlon Thomas at 526 3468 or e-mail [email protected]

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