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Old School Back in Session for County Wiffle Ball

ARDSLEY, N.Y. – Craig Matthews and Leon Hirth filled the entire roster of the Old School entry in the Fourth Annual Westchester County Wiffle Ball Championships at V.E. Macy Park Saturday, but the former Hendrick Hudson High school classmates were undaunted.

“We used to play every day in high school and this is the only time we play now,” said Hirth, who grew up in the Peekskill area and now lives in Ardsley. “Last year we beat the team that knocked us out the year before, they were the defending champs. So we’re back. We’re just a guy short.”

Twenty-five teams from Westchester communities, New York City, Long Island and Connecticut competed in the open tournament that began at 9 a.m. and finished as darkness fell.

A Mamaroneck entry named Wiffle Ball to the Face, captained by Dave Adler, defeated EBP of Long Island 1-0 in the championship game. According to Matthews, who was raised in Buchannan and now resides in Ridgefield, Conn., the player short, Steve Leshinski, would have helped Old School go deeper that the first round finish it settled for Saturday.

“Leon and I grew up paying all kinds of sports,” Matthews said. “He can really pitch. We’ve won a 1-0 game and lost a 1-0 game. Steve is about 6-10 and would have help in the outfield, but he had a commitment and we’re hanging in with just two.”

Matthews said he and his Old School teammates have seen the tournament grow over the short four years it has been played.

“You see that team over there?” Matthews said pointing to a team of young men. “Those guys were a teenage team with their parents here watching. Now they’re bigger and better. We’re getting older too, but we’ll keep coming back and trying to win it.”

County Recreation Supervisor Ike Kuzio monitored the five stations where games were being played simultaneously.

“It’s a fun event, but the guys get intense when it comes down to the final rounds,” Kuzio said. “We’ve grown to 25 teams and it gets bigger each year.”

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