BY KEN MORSE
The first-year, co-ed adult softball league in Beacon Falls is quickly turning into a family affair. Co-founders Maureen Carroll and Joe Conte wanted to start a league just for the fun of it as a way to bring the community together.
In the process what they have started is a family kind of atmosphere where the kids are coming out to cheer on their parents. It’s a bit of an odd twist, since parents are the ones spending countless hours bringing their kids to practices and games. Now those same kids are there to support the parents, even volunteering to announce games from the press box. All of this family interaction has led to some pretty good-sized crowds down at the Pent Field complex on Monday and Wednesday evenings.
“It is really catching on. We have volunteer umpires that are usually players from other teams who are not playing that night,” said Carroll. “It helps to keep the costs down. We also have some of the kids volunteering to go up in the press box to announce the games. That has led to some pretty hysterical renditions when the kids introduce the next batter as, my mom or my dad.”
Carroll has some deep roots in Beacon Falls with her family line dating back to the Bronson Company. She settled on the name of the league after the rubber shoe factory in town and rolled out the carpet this year for the inaugural season of the Beacon Falls Top Notch Softball League.
“I was an avid softball player growing up,” added Carroll, now a mother of two children ages 7 & 5. “We were able to get team shirts from Blanchettes along with bats, balls and all the other equipment needed.”
The 18 and older co-ed league is sponsored by local businesses and includes mostly town residents. Each team is allowed two out of towners on their roster. Conte, who owns JC Landscaping, sponsors the blue team.
There are currently about 70 players divided up among the four teams in the league. Doug Nick Construction sponsors the black team, Rivers Edge Pub & Grille sponsors the green team and the Beacon Hose Fire Department sponsors the red team.
“This is our first year, so we have had to make adjustments as we go. It’s a learning process,” said Carroll. “We had to tweak the rules wanting to keep it simple and fair. I’m excited to see how well it’s going and the feedback has been very encouraging.
“We are planning on playoffs and a championship when the season finishes up at the end of August. There are a lot of family and friends coming down to watch the games and we are planning on an end of the year party to celebrate our first year.”
Carroll continued: “Joe (Conte) has been a huge help putting this all together. We are so fortunate and so thankful for all of our team sponsors. We are already making plans for next season. We would like to keep it mostly Beacon Falls residents because this is such a tight community.”
If you are ever driving through Beacon Falls on a Monday or Wednesday night and looking to take in some exciting action of a ball game, come on down to Pent Field to watch the Top Notch Softball League. You’ll be glad you did.
BY KEN MORSE