By John Bombatch
BEAVERCREEK — As Joanna Warner, 7, oh-so-patiently waited for her softball game to begin, she couldn’t stop smiling. With her mom and dad as assistant coaches, and her grandfather as the head coach, a night of Beavercreek Youth Softball Association fun at Rotary Park’s Lefty McFadden Youth Complex has become a three-generation family affair.
Frank Flynn is the Ernst Concrete-sponsored team’s head coach. His daughter, Cheri (Flynn) Warner serves as an assistant coach along with her husband, Matt. Joanna is Frank’s granddaughter.
Three generations of softball players on the same green-clad team.
“We were able to get our team pictures taken tonight, before the rain came. So that was a lucky break,” Flynn said. He estimated that he’s been coaching BYSA teams “for forever or so.
“We’ve been pretty lucky with the weather so far this season,” he added. “We had one make-up game, and we’ve already made that one up, so we were in pretty good shape.”
Cheri Warner remembers coming to her brother John’s T-ball and coaches pitch games at Rotary Park as a kid. Now she’s enjoying having Joanna learn the game and have fun playing the sport of softball. She took up the sport in junior high and also played in high school.
“Joanna played T-Ball her first year. This is her second year of Rookie League (coach’s pitch), and she really enjoys it,” Cheri said. “They have fun. It gives us something to do during the summer, and it gives them a chance to make new friends, and some of the kids are old friends … They learn how to be a part of a team sport, and I think that’s a great thing,” Cheri Warner said.
Sipping from a water bottle, Joanna was still patiently sitting on the dugout bench, waiting to play her game.
“I like playing softball, because it’s fun,” she said. “I like batting the best.”
According to their website, the BYSA was first formed in 1983. In each of the past five years, the association has registered more than 1,300 kids on more than 90 youth softball teams. Including a College/Alumni League, there are 96 BYSA teams this season.
While Wednesday’s BYSA leagues were able to get in the scheduled 6 p.m. games, the 7:20 p.m. games (including Joanna’s Ernst Concrete game with Comfort Solutions), as well as the games set for 8:30 and 9:40, had to be cancelled for the night. They will be rescheduled for a later and dryer date.