There are no high-fives and the players tip their caps to each other after the game instead of the traditional handshakes, but other than that, it’s business as usual for the Everett Girls Softball League.
After a two-month delay to the start of the season due to the coronavirus, the league began on July 6 and it is has been continuing its nightly schedule of games at Glendale Park. League President Vinnie Oliva said 130 players are competing this season.
“Things are going very well,” Oliva said Monday night at Glendale Park where Majors and Minors games were being played simultaneously on the two fields. “We’re trying to follow a lot of the guidelines and I think we’re doing a pretty good job so far.
“It’s been tough to get the players to get used to the new things – they’re used to high-fiving and things like that, but the girls are really excited to be out there playing softball and so are the parents seeing their kids playing softball,” said Oliva.
The league was founded by Karen LaMontagne in 1979. (Mrs. LaMontagne had the honor of throwing out the first ball of this season). The league has a Farm League (pre-K-third grade), Minor League (third grade to fifth grade), and Major League (sixth grade to ninth grade). The teams will play a 12-game schedule followed by double-elimination playoffs.
Oliva and many of the other board members have been involved in the organization since their daughters began playing in the Farm League.
Oliva’s daughter, Mia, an eighth grader, is a pitcher in the Major League. Vinnie and his wife, Christina, the league’s concessionaire, also have a daughter, Alyssa, who just graduated from Everett High School and will be attending Curry College.
“I give a big shout-out to the city because they did a great job with the Everett High graduation,” said Oliva.
A graduate of Malden Catholic and a homeowner in Everett since 1996, Vinnie Oliva is proud of the league. He said that because there was no high school softball season this spring, the league invited ninth graders to participate this summer and the response was excellent.
“We’ve just been trying to increase player participation every year and keep the registration fee down for the players,” said Oliva. “We run The Hut [concession stand] to help pay for the players’ uniforms,” said Oliva. “Usually we have a kickoff at the beginning of the year and an end-of-the-year celebration, but because of the coronavirus, we’re not sure what we’ll be able to do. Hopefully, there will be a celebration at the end of the season.”
One thing is certain: The city of Everett is fortunate to have dedicated community leaders like Vinnie and Christina Oliva and Laura Tiberii and others making sure that softball is available for the youth of Everett, even in these unprecedented times.