The Northside Youth Organization hosted its second annual Alumni Softball Tournament August 12th and it was another great day of fun as teams enjoyed a late Summer Saturday on the ball fields at NYO.
Rosters were filled with a wide range of former football, baseball, softball, and basketball players, as well as current and former coaches who now spend their days as teachers, brokers, dentists and lawyers. Alumni came from as far away as Chicago, IL (Joe Austin) and Paris, France (Nat Pieper) – and ages ranged from the mid 20s to late 50s.
The afternoon started off with a newly featured event; the home run derby. With over 20 participants, former Majors Coach and Vanderbilt Alum Adam Cronk took home the title in the under 40 division, fighting off valiant efforts from Blake Fortune and Wesley Lacefield. David Bickers won the over 40 division and Christie Jones won the women’s division.
After the conclusion of the home run derby, 8 co-ed teams of almost 100 participants took place in the softball tournament. In the first matchup on Wilkins Field, a team led by Scooter Owes, Ryan Gottlieb, and Leo Rose upset last year’s runner-up team led by Stewart Wallace and Patrick Jackson. At the same time, Spencer Middleton’s team completed a last inning comeback against Georgia Evert and Danny Gershwin’s team to advance to the second round.
In the second wave of first round matchups, the defending champions led by Thomas Willingham held off a talented team captained by Barron Harms while Bennet Gottlieb’s team of giants defeated a scrappy team led by Richard Gerakitis and Ross Conway.
In the semi-finals, Team Owes/R. Gottlieb/Rose defeated Team Middleton and Team Willingham took down Team B. Gottlieb to set up our finals matchup.
For the second consecutive year, Team Willingham took home the crown. The team roster consisted of Joe Austin, Daniel Candler, Blake Fortune, Max Williams, Campbell Wilson, Kendrick Goodman, Thomas Willingham, Johnny Topping, Wesley Lacefield, Trey Cotney, Anna Carlson and Jack Konas. The team was coached by Chase Brown.
After losing their first round match-up, Team Evert/Gershwin fought back to defeat Team Harms and Team Wallace/Jackson to capture the Silver Division title. Their team roster consisted of Nat Pieper, Danny Gershwin, Steve Silverstein, Brian Raley, Georgia Evert, Christie Jones, Neil Simon, Greg Hare, John Corbally, Todd Yates and Michael Kornheiser.
Some off-field tournament highlights included a special appearance from longtime NYO director, Jane Wilkins, as well as some great in-game color commentary from Cliff Barshay, Clete McGinty and Allan Gottlieb. Along with those, a special thanks to Tony Watkins, Ken Young, John and Marjorie Conway, David Bickers and the rest of the NYO Alumni Committee for helping make the day a huge success.
The NYO Alumni 3v3 Basketball tournament will take place on Saturday, December 16 when Ross Conway, Jake Espenlaub and Jack Murphy attempt to achieve what Team Willingham did and win back to back titles.
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All proceeds go towards funding for the Christopher League, scholarship programs and facility improvements. For any questions regarding the Alumni Association or alumni events, please reach out to Ross Conway at firstname.lastname@example.org