- July 1, 2020
Elm Park Softball Complex Is Back Bigger and Better Than Ever For over 50 years, Williamsportâ€™s Elm Park Complex has been synonymous with the best of amateur softball, both slow and fastpitch. After a few rough, down years, the complex is back â€” bigger than ever â€” under the auspices of the Lycoming Softball Association,
Elm Park Softball Complex
Is Back Bigger and Better Than Ever
For over 50 years, Williamsportâ€™s Elm Park Complex has been synonymous with the best of amateur softball, both slow and fastpitch. After a few rough, down years, the complex is back â€” bigger than ever â€” under the auspices of the Lycoming Softball Association, headed by Joe Tedesco and vice president Don Noviello. Tedesco is the Muncy High School Softball Coach, and Noviello is a former Williamsport City Councilman.
The complex bears a new moniker, the Father John K. Manno Elm Park Softball Complex. The new name came at the suggestion of Webb Weeklyâ€™s own Jim Webb Jr., who is a strong supporter and sponsor of the Lycoming Softball Association.
â€śWe can think of no one more beloved and deserving of such acknowledgment than Father Manno. Considering Father Mannoâ€™s work with our local youth, this memorial is particularly fitting,â€ť Donald Noviello told Webb Weekly.
According to Noviello, â€śafter nearly 50 years of existence, the complex experienced a period of minimal use and non-maintenance. After leasing the property from the city, the LCSA now has the opportunity to add to the history of the park. Through the generosity and selfless consideration of Jim Webb Jr., the LCSA is proud to announce the revitalization of the newly designated Father John K. Manno Memorial Complex at Elm Park.â€ť
The park will primarily serve a variety of girlsâ€™ softball teams ranging from NCAA collegiate teams to PIAA high school and junior high school teams as well as competitive travel teams and a number of league tournaments through the course of the playing season. With some effort, there will be attempts to accommodate some menâ€™s slow pitch softball games when scheduling allows.
Visions for the future of the complex include the desire to lay in a handicapped/special needs field for public and organizational use. A fourth regulation field would also expand the parkâ€™s future use. LCSA would like to diversify the parkâ€™s use as much as possible with a number of potential offerings for the future. A proposed portable ice-skating rink has garnered much support. Other potentials could include small weekend carnivals, auto shows, flea markets, even Christmas tree sales. Whatever draws a crowd safely.
However, for the present, the idea is to get teams on the fields. There have been two weekend tournaments so far that have been responsible for the booking of over 500 hotel/motel rooms, thus helping to boost the local economy as it recovers from the virus shutdown. Other local businesses have benefited from those who have attended the games. The expectation is that there will be more than 800 games played over the summer. The response from various leagues far and wide has been overwhelming.
With the exception of some PIAA games, admission to the games is free to the public. LCSA has extended invitations to the food truck organization and other local businesses to help with food services as well as operating its own limited concession stand. Parking is also free, but there are smoking restrictions, and dogs are not allowed inside the fenced area.
Within the coming month, the LCSA will announce a dedication ceremony to acknowledge all those who have assisted in the process and to fulfill the memorialization of the Father John K. Manno Memorial Complex.
League officials are ever mindful of the precautions needed to protect players and spectators from the COVID-19 virus.
â€śAll participating leagues are subscribing to sanitation expectations. We will be adhering to the Department of Health and CDC guidelines,â€ť Noviello said. â€śPresently, we are simply grateful that we have the chance to offer an addition to our quality of life. The greater good is that our young minds who participate here are under positive mentorship, and who are supported actively by the presence of their families at the games. LCSA recognizes this as an opportunity to present some good local athletes to the public and continue to foster the family values that produce such outstanding young individuals.â€ť