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Diamonds, Deadlifts, and Yardsticks

Diamonds, Deadlifts, and Yardsticks

It was a beautiful sun-drenched Tuesday afternoon last week, and I couldn’t wait to get out of the office
and up to Historic Bowman Field.  There was a doubleheader to be played at the amazing ballpark that has only gotten better with age.  A couple of games being played at Bowman is nothing new, but what made this day special was it was between two Williamsport collegiate teams.  The Penn College Wildcats were taking on the Lycoming College Warriors.

Penn College has had baseball for a while, and Manager Chris Howard has done a great job with the program.  Lycoming College has just brought baseball back after over a 50-year absence.  Since last year, Manager Rick Oliveri has been working to lay the foundation and build Lyco a baseball program. What I saw that day tells me both schools have the right manager for the job.  It was truly an entertaining afternoon and evening of baseball, with Lycoming taking the first game and Coach Howard’s boys coming back to take the nightcap.  The rivalry has begun, and I can’t wait to see what the next match-up brings.

It’s great to see Brandon Park coming back to baseball and softball life.  If you remember, I spent a lot of years there with the Brandon Little League. I have special memories from both Jimmy and Hunter’s first baseball experiences. All my time spent at the park is what actually motivated me to save Chief Woapalanne, who I used to refer to as Chief Knock-A-Homer to the teams I coached.

The other great news about what’s going on at Brandon is that the big field is going to become a first-class collegiate baseball diamond.  This is through the combined efforts of the City of Williamsport and Lycoming College. I think it will make a perfect place for the Warriors to practice and play home games and provide St. John Neumann with a much better place for their hardball program.

In staying with America’s pastime and moving back to the West End of town, Dr. Timothy Bowers, Williamsport Superintendent, announced the district will be building its own baseball and softball fields. The $5.4 million investment will be located adjacent to Lycoming Valley Intermediate School and be part of the Lycoming Valley project, which will cost $29 million.

WASD has never had its own baseball and softball facilities.  This will complete a recent commitment to upgrade all the athletic programs and facilities.  The sports complex is estimated to be completed in time for the 2024 season.

A tip of my Webb Weekly cap with the American Flag on the side to Mayor Derek Slaughter and City Council, Dr. Bowers and the Williamsport School District, and Lycoming College for making this all happen.  Whether it’s an upgrade or building something new, now’s the time with more money available through grants, plans, and aid than you can shake a wood bat at.

In staying with athletics, we need more officials, referees, and umpires.  This especially holds true in high school and middle school events.  If you have any interest, please reach out to me, and I will provide you with the contact information depending on the sport.

Tom Cillo officiated 95 games this past school season, and I thank him for the effort.  I’ve known Tom almost my whole life.  He has worked for the City of Williamsport for 32 years, reffed for 15, and always has a smile on his face when I run into him, which is usually at a ball game.  Tom’s a lifer in our area and not a spring chicken anymore.

Tom has always been passionate about weightlifting for as long as I can remember and recently accomplished something which is pretty amazing — competing at an International Powerlifting event.  He set the PA state record for the dead left at 530 pounds.  He competed in the 55-59 age classification.  That makes my back hurt just thinking about it.

He tells me his next goal is the national mark, which is 580 pounds.  Another tip of my Webb Weekly cap with the American Flag on the side to Tom for his accomplishment and showing us age is just a number.

In closing things out this week, make sure you get out and about to the 62nd Annual West Branch Susquehanna Builders Home Show.  We are proud of our association with the organization. Congrats to Jody Harlan on recently being named President of the Association.

There is something at the Home Show for everyone when it comes to home improvement and much more.  Please make sure you stop by the Webb Weekly booth, say hello, and get registered for our Great Grill Giveaway package.

Spring has sprung; watch out for motorcycles, bikes, and ballplayers.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb