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Summer Co-Ed Softball a Hit in Sistersville

By Staff | Jul 13, 2016

By ED PARSONS

Sports writer

Sistersville has come up with a gem of an idea thanks to the brainstorming of resident Kevin Yoho.

Earlier this year, Yoho found things a little boring and was trying to find a way to bring people together to have some good old summertime fun. Something for all to enjoy!

Men, women and boys and girls: Yoho has figured the best way to keep people happy was to get them all together on common ground where they could all have some fun. What could be more fun than the American pastime of playing ball (softball)?

After putting out some feelers and notices on Facebook, plus talking to other interested individuals, he decided to form summer co-ed softball for all to enjoy. Yoho has been a long time sports enthusiast. After all, he was one of my T-Ball players some 35 years ago.

Yoho said softball is a co-ed league that was started from the ground up.

“The hospital granted us the use of the old hospital field, but it hadn’t been used in years,” he said. “It was literally a field with a backstop that had a 10-foot tree growing through it. So a group of us started working on the field and got it back into shape.”

This noble task was accomplished through help from numerous individuals and businesses. After they got the field tilled, Matt Glover Trucking out of Middlebourne donated them 10 tons of sand and soon they started playing.

“We went from a small group of 14 playing in the last week of April to approximately 200 people showing up on occasion since then,” Yoho said.

Groups from St. Marys, Sistersville, Paden City, Middlebourne and New Martinsville come on a regular basis. People from as far away as Wheeling/Bellaire and Salem, WV even come to play, which shows how it’s really taken off and what can happen when someone decides to try and make a difference.

On average when they play during the week, there are around 25-35 people, with Sunday games ranging from 30-60, not including just the people who come to watch. One never knows who or what to expect as some people have brought grills, food and soft drinks for all to enjoy. The plans are to keep building on the field and making improvements. The City of Sistersville just granted use of a mobile bathroom unit for the field and for the walking trail which extends around the field area.

“We’ve built our own little softball community through Facebook and word of mouth,” Yoho said. “It’s under Sistersville Coed Slowpitch Softball on Facebook.”

Games are played on most Sundays around 1:30 p.m. and during the week at least once in the afternoon and once in the evening, depending on when the most people can play working around work schedules.

For more information, just click on the Facebook link and find out when the next games will be played. Right now they are just playing pickup games, but the plan is to start a full league soon because of the amount of people showing up. Who knows, maybe a fall league is in the works!

Special thanks to Kevin and his wife for looking at ways to better improve the way of life in a small town community.

Also under the direction of Yoho is the Sistersville Summer League Basketball which plays on Mondays and Thursdays starting at 6:30 p.m. with four games each night – one at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and two at 7:30 p.m. Eight teams participate with Varsity and Junior Varsity teams from Tyler Consolidated High School.

“This helps them get quality experience heading into the upcoming season,” Yoho said.

There are about 80 men who play in the league ranging from age 14 to 45. Teams this year are wearing team colors . Area businesses usually sponsor teams, but Yoho said he decided to give them a season off from the summer and winter leagues, but some teams still found sponsors who provided them with shirts. Donating money to the league this year was Bill Forbes, Phillipps Pharmacy and New Image Hair Studio in Middlebourne. This helped with supplies and one team did get shirts from New Image Studio.

Yoho said they have always tried to keep stats during the summer league, but it was hard this year to find people interested in doing that so they just kept score. The league will be ending soon and championship games will be played. Hopefully, it was a good experience for all involved.

Thanks again to all who have helped make another successful summer in Tyler County.