Spring Season Begins for Virginia-Highland Softball Team

VaHi Villains Look to Stay Undefeated Sunday Against Lake Claire

By: John Becker

Bet you didn’t know your neighborhood has a coed softball team. Well, it does and the VaHi Villains are actually an in-town softball force to be reckoned with.

Residents David Marder and Duane Wandless founded the team in 2009. The Villains play in the South East Atlanta Softball League (SEALS) against teams from other in-town neighborhoods like Grant Park, Reynoldstown and Edgewood.

“We went 0-11 that first spring season,” says Marder, a compliance engineer at Georgia Tech, “but we had a lot of fun doing it so I knew we were onto something.”

In true Braves-like, worst-to-first fashion, though, the Villains turned it around in 2010, taking home the league championship trophy.

“It was a turn-around season for sure,” Marder says, “and a great feeling when we were able to beat undefeated Ormewood Park for the title.”

Last spring, the Villains finished second, winning their division but losing to pesky Ormewood Park in the championship game. The team also plays in fall leagues and even tried a Piedmont Park summer league last year.

Marder says the team took its name from the friendly but intense rivalries that have developed with Kirkwood and Ormewood Park.

“We pull out all the stops when it comes to beating those teams,” Marder says.

The Villains started the 2012 spring season in fine fashion last Sunday with a 15-4 victory over Reynoldstown. They’ll try to keep their undefeated streak going this Sunday at 6 PM against Lake Claire. All games are played at East Lake Park.

Is Marder looking for more Villains?

“We had trouble finding players that first year,” Marder says, “but all it took was a posting on VHLIST and I was overwhelmed with interest.” Marder has a full roster of seventeen players right now but says everyone is encouraged to come out and support the team.

And lest you think the Villains are all work and no play, the team has been seen at neighborhood pubs like Taco Mac, DBA Barbeque and Hand in Hand for post-game celebrations (or to drown their sorrows after a loss). Marder says all VaHi residents are welcome to join in the fun.

“We’re really excited about the upcoming season,” a confident Marder says. “Spring seems to be our time to shine and if we keep playing like we did in the first game, we’re sure to take home another championship.”

The Villains are sponsored by FIG Partners. You can track the team’s progress and see a schedule of games on the SEALS website at http://www.hometeamsonline.com/teams/?u=seals&s=softball&t=c.

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