Thirty-One Years of Senior Sports
The year was 1991, thirty-one years ago, which marked the beginning of the Montgomery County Senior Sports Association (MCSSA). Providing opportunities for senior citizens to participate in sports programs was and continues to be the overwhelming focus of a small but dedicated group of men, starting with a single softball league with four teams.
Today the organization has grown and blossomed to todays level of overseeing 8 softball leagues, basketball leagues, walk-in programs for basketball, volleyball, and soon to be pickleball, serving greater than 750 members.
But how did it all start, you ask? Here is how it all began…
Montgomery County started a Co-Rec, 55 and over league in 1983 which played Wednesday mornings at Layhill Park. Groups that came from the various Senior Centers throughout Montgomery County originally formed the teams. Those senior ball players who wanted a more challenging level of play had to travel to either Northern Virginia for daytime leagues or Anne Arundel County to participate in evening leagues.
A group of Montgomery County athletes who were playing at these more competitive levels and venues were anxious to get on teams made up of local talent. Ken Scholl, a committed organizer and a driving force to coordinate a quality group of interested softballers, approached Bill Tait and convinced him to develop a database of seniors with a desire to play a higher level of senior softball.
In the summer of 1991, Ralph Pryor, a Recreation Specialist, and a who’s who with the Montgomery County Recreation Department, was convinced to establish an evening league for 55 and over men and asked the teams from the Co-Rec league to consider putting a team in this new league.
Four teams were started and evening softball was underway. From the collection of those 4 teams came a group of 20 devoted softball enthusiasts, who got together n October 1991 to organize a Senior Softball Association. From this meeting a board of directors was elected and the nucleus of the Montgomery County Softball Association was formed.
In 1995 it was decided to change the name to the Montgomery County Senior Sports Association (MCSSA). It was emphasized at the original meeting that the mission of MCSSA was to promote senior sports, especially softball, in Montgomery County by passing the word along to all available programs provided by the Recreation Department. By publicizing and bringing attention to senior sports through all available media outlets, the MCSSA Board believed their goal would be successful. The goal was to provide the opportunity for seniors of all abilities and all ages to compete and stay healthy.
Bill Tait, who today has an annual softball tournament celebrating his name, was elected President from 1991 to 2003. Jim Ganz succeeded Bill Tait and retired from the position after eighteen years of loyal and dedicated service in 2021. John Rice signed on in early 1992 as Treasurer and served in that position for twenty five years until 2017. These three men were the strength and backbone of MCSSA for so many years.
MCSSA strives to continue the legacy of the pioneers that were able to expand programs and establish a database of over 750 seniors.
Jacky Loube, a board member for 10 years serves as the President and Lance Hoboy became the Treasurer in 2017 and Vice President in 2021. Dan Mann continues his position as the Secretary, a position he has held for more than 10 years.