Two teams of Okanogan County senior softball players including many from the Methow Valley swept their respective divisions to take top honors in the Wenatchee Golden Age Senior Softball League this summer.
Team member Dennis Brown said that thanks to the sponsorship of Mike Walker and the Winthrop Red Apple Market, Okanogan County fielded an A Team made up of players in the 50-plus age range and a second B Team of players in their 60s.
“As it turned out both teams won their divisions with Dan Stanley coaching both teams,” Brown said. “The Omak 60s won the C division so it was a clean sweep for the seniors of Okanogan County.”
“I started coaching the men’s Winthrop B team four years ago after playing the four years prior,” Stanley said. “Last year we took second place in the league and they moved us up to the top division. To be competitive in that league I recruited more players.”
Suddenly Stanley was faced with having too many players.
“So I started a second division team. Both teams did so well that they each won their divisions,” Stanley said.
Members of the A team with a 19-5 record this season include Stanley, Mark Balken, Guy Bare, Aaron Burkhart, Mike Desjardins, John Ellis, Rod Gardner, Monte Maberry, Don Maples, Edwin Marchand, Steve Marchand, Mike Walker, and George Webster.
Steve Marchand was chosen most valuable player in the A league and his wife Kristi in the B league.
Players on the B team (21-5) are Bare, Dennis Brown, Paul Budrow, Ken Cain, Don Collier, Ash Court, Bob Jateff, Phil Lund, Kristi Marchand, Mike McHugh, Lynn Miller, Mike Port, Neil Riebe, Stanley and Johmn Szenasi.
Brown, 69, and Reibe, 77, pitch for the B team.
“Neil plays as many as 200 games in the winter league in Arizona and Dennis is the fastest guy around for his age,” Stanley said.
Gardner was voted most valuable player on the A team and Brown for the B team.
Stanley plays on other teams besides those he coaches.
“The last four years in October I traveled to St. George, Utah to play with the Wenatchee Merchants in the Huntsman World Senior Games,” Stanley said.
Other county players who also make the trip each year are Walker, Maples, Riebe, Webster, Brown, Kristi and Steve Marchand, and Edwin Marchand.
Walker, a player as well as team sponsor “has done a lot with sponsoring the two teams and playing on the A team,” Stanley said. “His speed and power with the bat helped the team with our winning record. “
In recognition of his contribution to the sport Stanley was honored and inducted into the Wenatchee Golden Age Senior Softball Hall of Fame this year.
Don Maples and Neil Riebe are past hall-of-fame members.
“If anyone 50 years old and above wants to play competitive softball ,turnout starts the middle of April at the Winthrop Ball field,” Stanley said.