LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Out on the field at Lorenzi park, the feeling of competitiveness and teamwork can be felt as the Las Vegas Senior Association plays softball.
It is a bond that grew over time, not just with the players but also for the military veterans looking for an outlet to stay in shape and connect with the community.
Russ Curtis is the field commissioner for the team and a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Alaska and California.
“They enjoy it, a lot of them are pretty rusty when they first come out,” said Curtis. “They don’t realize we’re as good as we are. We range from 50 years old to 80 years old on the field. We got one guy that’s 82 years old and he’s as good as everybody else.”
Paul Callaghan attended the Merchant Marine Academy and was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy. He said that it is more than just playing a game and the comradery is clear.
“These are our brothers, our friends. Some of us lost our spouses and we rely on each other,” explained Callaghan. “I’ve been with the travel team since 2005 and we’re a close-knit group, it just means everything.”
US Army Veteran, Mike Warzocha, served two tours in Vietnam from 1969-1971. He said the team is always looking for more players and you don’t have to be a military veteran to join.
“I made a few phone calls and I found out they play senior ball here and being retired I was available, so I found out about this and came down and immediately was put on the roster,” added Warzocha. “I have been playing now for almost nine years here.”
It is not just the guys getting in all the fun and action, but the women are too.
Rhonda Decker served almost 30 years in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 2012 and served right here in Las Vegas.
She said there are 61 players in the women’s league with the same goal of promoting health as well as the quality of life and building lifelong connections.
“Win or lose, we’re all shaking hands,” said Decker. “We’re all friends and oftentimes we move teams and it’s a great way to get out and get exercise.”
The Las Vegas Senior Softball Association is open to those 50 years and older, with the oldest player in the league at 87 years old.
For more information on how to join, click here: https://lvssa.vegas/