GREENVILLE – The Greenville Girls Softball Association (GGSA) held its 47th opening day ceremony Saturday at the Stebbins Field Complex and Lady Wave Stadium with Greenville Mayor Steve Willman tossing out the first pitch to a waiting Brooklyn Proffitt behind the plate to catch the first pitch of the season.
“What a fantastic place this has become,” said Willman. “It is one of the best state of the art type softball facilies in all the surrounding areas of girls softball thanks to the Stebbins Family that helped get this started years ago.”
GGSA President, Eric Fellers opened the ceremony by greeting all in attendance followed by an opening prayer and the singing of the National Anthem.
“We have had a lot of generous help this year with some people in the community helping and giving us some funds that we can do some additional things here at the ballpark,” said Fellers. “We greatly appreciate the support and that is what we are here for – we’re here to try to improve this place every year and get it better for the kids now and also for the kids in the future.”
Lady Wave Stadium at Stebbins field is home to the state’s OHSAA Division IV Regional Tournament. The ‘Greenville Regional’ is made up of Southwest 1, Southwest 2, Southwest 3 and Wapakoneta District brackets. The winning team from the Greenville Regional advances to the Final Four in Akron to play for the state championship.
“To think where we have come from and where it is now to know with this great field we now host the Regional tournament here for ladies softball for the surrounding area,” Mayor Willman said. “It’s a tremendous boost for people coming and seeing what we have here, the competition and being part of the economics of our community too; so what a fantastic deal.”
“It amazes me the amount of people that we get,” noted Fellers. “We may have some local teams that end up playing here to go to the state tournament and that is amazing. If we can continue to make this place better and give our kids the opportunity to play on a first class field then we did our job.”
Lady Wave head varsity softball coach Jerrod Newland also thanked the sponsors and community for supporting Greenville girls softball.
“Coach Newland is a great fund raiser and certainly is a great coach,” said Willman. “His efforts to stay here and make sure that our program keeps going strong is fantastic.”
“We have numerous tournaments throughout the season, we have the Regionals of course that will bring teams in,” stated Fellers. “They are spending money at Walmart and the grocery stores. They’re eating food, buying gas and it brings a ton of money into the town. They are going uptown, they go to Kitchenaid Way and Maid-Rite – they are all over the place.”
“To get the support from the community that we get, it’s two-fold,” added Fellers. “You’re giving back to those people that are spending money here to help make this place better and that’s what the community is here for.”
“It keeps on growing,” concluded Mayor Willman. “I remember going hunting back in this area at one time so with the addition of a couple more fields coming up it is just amazing. This place is really growing. What a great time today and I am so honored to come out and throw the first pitch.”
Contact Darke County Media Sports Editor Gaylen Blosser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-548-3330