by Ho Hoffman 24. March 2014 11:54


MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – If the 2014 SPA SPRING NATIONALS is any indication, it looks like SPA may have another record setting year in terms of team attendance.

The SPRING NATIONALS held at the LAGOON PARK COMPLEX, MARCH 13-16kicked off the SPA 2014 tournament season in grand style as THIRTY-FOUR teams (up from THIRTY in 2013) signed up for the event

EIGHT DIVISION WINNERS were crowned despite a heavy rainstorm which wiped out a few of the finals contests.

I was a good turnout with increase in attendance,” SPA TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR DON CHERRY said, “I think this was a good indication of how SPA TOURNAMENTS in the SOUTH are starting to grow in popularity.”

'We had a lot of great competitive games,” CHERRY added, “and except for the rain everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.”

The six-team 50 PLATINUM DIVISION was one of the groups who saw the finals wiped out, but not before FLORIDA'S DOC C'S earned the title by beating MONSTER SOFTBALL 36-34, ATLANTA MONRACH'S 27-19 and division runner-up TEAM ARKANSAS 34-17.

Others in the field were SOUTHERN ELITE and LANGSTON PAINTING.

The six-team 50 GOLD DIVISION echoed the 50 PLATINUM DIVISION as they also saw their finals rained out. However, it stayed dry long enough for the MONTGOMERY SWARM to assert themselves as champs by beating DAVID BOWEN SPORTING 25-12 and SOUTHERN HURRICAN 18-6.

The SOUTHERN HURRICANES took runner-up honors followed by AFFINITY ELEVATOR and DAVID BOWEN.

The three-team 50/55 MAJOR PLUS title went TSC who plated 124 runs in their three games, including the championship 54-49 win over ADIKTIVE SPORTS. The third team in the field was NEXT LEVEL.

DT EXPRESS was just as their name implies, an EXPRESS rolling to the 55AAA title in three straight. DT EXPRES downed GA/AL SRS 17-14, DIXIE EXPRESS 18-9 and GA/AL SRS again, this time 26-16.

Six teams went at it in the 60 PLUS DIVISION and when all was said-and-done COLUMBUS LX stood on top of the podium with title in hand.

The ALABAMA team went 2-1 in pool play then beat the STRYKERS 23-3, ELITE 60's 29-15 and RANDY SMITH SOFTBALL twice by scores of 24-15 and 24-9 to take home the crown.

The other two teams in the field were ATLANTA RECYCLING and TAG.

SPORTS LETTERING took home the “bacon” in the 65 PLUS DIVISION wrapping it up by edging HUFFMAN ELECTRIC 11-10 IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. On the way to the title, SPORTS LETTERING disposed of HUFFMAN ELECTRIC (in the opener) 24-15 and EXTREME HEAT 18-2. TENNESSEE RV rounded out the field.

The 65 MAJOR CROWN went to GEORGIA'S 4-13 who downed the PANHANDLE HITMEN in a two-out-of-three showdown. The CHAMPS won the opener 25-22, lost the second game 45-29 but took the rubber match 23-20.

CRIMS BORDER STATES 70'S ran the table in the 70/75 GROUP with wins over PENSACOLA RIPTIDE (25-16) AND THE leftovers twice by scores of 17-9 and 16-6 to win the title.

As you can see there were a lot of new winners and new faces in the tournament,” CHERRY said, “I think next year this tournament will continue to grow as more-and-more teams hear about it. We hope to hit FORTY TEAMS in 2015,”

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About the Editor

Ho Hoffman of Wadsworth,Ohio is a sports writer for the Medina (Ohio) Gazette daily newspaper. Hoffman also has been playing competitive softball for nearly sixty years and 3,000 games starting in the adult fast pitch leagues as a teenager and continuing through into today's 70's senior division.  

Hoffman for the past twenty years has also been playing on senior softball travel teams. In addition, he along with Red Bole are the tournament directors of the highly successful SPA Ohio Buckeye Classic June senior softball tournament which last year drew 77 teams, in the 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 and 75 AA and AAA only divisions. 

He is also married. He and his wife Sue have three sons who are also active in softball and baseball. The youngest Matt plays adult slo-pitch softball, Mike plays Roy Hobbs 40-and over baseball and Marc is the founder, owner and president of U.S. Baseball Academy, the nation's largest baseball training program.


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