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’Young vs. Seasoned’ Contest To Benefit Local Teams

The Great Falls Optimist Club is sponsoring a "young versus seasoned" slow-pitch softball game Thursday, July 10 between local Little League Coaches and The Virginia Cavaliers, a championship travel team started in 1991 by Great Falls resident and Optimist Club member George Hersey. Held at Nike Park on field #5, the game will start at 7 p.m. All proceeds will be used to support the Great Falls Little League as well as The Virginia Cavaliers.

Approximately 600 boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 16 take part in the Great Falls Little League's baseball and softball seasons. The league's two sections are broken down by divisions based on both age and skill levels, fielding a combined 46 teams with accompanying managers and usually two coaches apiece.

"The opportunity to be introduced to, acquire the skills, and have the chance to experience this great American past-time is a memory the kids will have for a life-time," said new Club member and active Little League mom Julie Casso.

"We thought about having the Cavaliers take on the Little League All-Stars in a fund-raising match-up, but then we decided it wouldn’t be a fair contest — for the kids! So we asked the coaches to take them on instead," said Club president Lisa Jackson. She noted that the Cavaliers, who now play in the 70-year-old division, have won the Huntsman World Senior Softball Games as well as the 2006 ASA National Championship in their division, and travel all over the United States to compete in tournaments organized by the Softball Players Association, the International Softball Federation, and the Senior Softball World championships.

Tickets for the game will be $5 per person or $20 per family. Food and drinks will be on sale at the Snack Shack on site. Attendees are encouraged to bring noise makers to help cheer on their team, and Little Leaguers are encouraged to wear their team uniforms. "We hope everyone will come out to cheer on their coaches in what will surely be an exciting and fun evening," said Mark Casso, a Little League and All-Star team coach.