It was a star-studded summer in more ways than one in 2015.
Two-time silver medalist Kacey Bellamy showed off some of her moves that helped capture the nation’s attention during the last two USA Women’s Olympic hockey runs with a brief appearance back in her hometown when she participated in the Kevin J. Memorial hockey tournament at Amelia Park Ice Arena.
The Westfield Little League Baseball 7-9-Year-Old American All-Stars captured the area’s first-ever All-Star tournament title for that age division. The city’s 9-10-Year-Old Softball All-Stars finished runners-up in that age bracket for the first time.
In a city that prides itself on top shelf ball clubs, it was another banner year.
The Westfield Babe Ruth Baseball 13-Year-Old All-Stars surged into the eastern regionals, and staved off elimination in the final game of pool play with a resounding 8-0 shutout of Burlington (Vt.) behind a Josh Lis’ two-hitter before losing to Arlington (Mass.), 6-1.
The run for several of those 13-year-olds is far from over as the 14-Year-Old All-Stars are expected to compete for a national championship when Westfield Babe Ruth hosts a World Series in 2016.
“We have things to work on to get where we need to be,” Avery said, following the team’s final game of the summer. “We’ve got a good foundation … We didn’t have that one ‘true’ ace … It was eye-opening to see where we’ve got be (next season).
Avery said the team is focused on strengthening its offense, defense, and developing a “true” ace this offseason.
While the excitement for the 2016 Babe Ruth Baseball 13-Year-Old World Series is expected to heighten with each passing day, a buzz was in the air this summer when Westfield and Westfield Vocational-Technical high schools announced the hiring of new athletic director Eileen Flaherty.
Flaherty, a 1995 graduate of Cathedral High and starting defensive back for the school’s 1993 state champion girls’ soccer team, graduated from Bryant College in 1999, served as assistant director for compliance at Iowa State (Aug. 2006-July 2010) and deputy director of athletics for the University of Maine (2011-2015).
The only question for the new athletic director was which colors she would don for the traditional Thanksgiving Day high school football game between Westfield and Cathedral.
That would be answered at the end of the fall season.
Check out the final article in our four-part Year in Review sports series on newsstands Saturday, or visit us online at thewestfieldnews.com.