This Spring, Smyrna Clayton Little Lass Softball will celebrate their 46th season behind a new president who aims to keep the community staple growing.
Lifelong Smyrna resident and former Little Lass herself, Jen Weisenberger, takes over as the new president of the league. Joining as a seven-year-old, Weisenberger played within the same system she now heads until she was 16. After college, Weisenberger returned home, got married and now has a daughter playing in the league.
With experience coaching and umpiring, Weisenberger joined the SCLL Board of Directors as a Secretary last year before taking over for longtime president Bill Armor heading into this season.
Weisenberger’s family has been heavily involved in the SCLL, her grandfather was one of the founders of the league, while both her mother and aunt once coached in the league.
Little Lass is pretty unique to Delaware and the surrounding area, offering fastpitch softball to a wide range of age groups.
“For Little League, softball isn’t usually it’s own entity - it’s mixed with baseball, so it’s a little unique,” said Weisenberger. “Way back when, it was unheard of to have a fast pitch league, for i to stay together for as long as it has - I know upstate they have the Canal League but we’re different, we have our own identity.”
Ahead of the new season, Weisenberger and the SCLL hope to keep the league’s upward trend moving while also getting locals more involved.
“I think my main goal is to reach out to the community and create opportunities for them to get involved and get more young ladies to join the league,” Weisenberger said.
Right now, SCLL is looking for volunteers at a variety of positions.
“Our big push right now is for umpires, the Little League really frowns upon paying umpires since we’re a volunteer organization,” said Weisenberger. “We’re looking for anyone who has a baseball or softball background and can volunteer their time, we’ll give them the gear and free training.”
SCLL is also looking for volunteers to help run concession stands during games, a spot usually reserved for parents who then missed out on most of their child’s game.
“They’re usually working, so we’re looking for more outside help,” said Weisenberger. “We want parents to be in the stands watching their child play.”
Along with building community rapport, SCLL aim to expand their complex in the future, as well.
“We’ve been looking at expanding, but with expansion their needs to be some money involved, Weisenberger said. “We’re not necessarily in the position to put money up, but we’ve reached out to Little League Baseball Incorporated and submitted a grant. Down the line we’d love to have lights, but that too is an expensive undertaking.”
With registration for returning players now open and new-player registration coming up, Weisenberger encourages anyone who wants to get involved, whether that be a player, coach, or volunteer, to join the family.
“I wanted to give back to my community and the young girls here,” said Weisenberger. “Obviously, it’s important for kids to to be involved in a sport, it can be a family thing.”