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WASHINGTON YOUTH SPORTS ASSOCIATION

WASHINGTON YOUTH SPORTS ASSOCIATION

Bio

The league was officially formed, January 31, 1953 as the Washington Khoury League.  Khoury League was an established youth baseball program in the St Louis area created by Mr. George Khoury.  I.V. Bocklage was elected as the first president of the league and Larry Steffens was the Secretary.  The board consisted of O.H. Bocklage, Dewey Jett, Paul Kuenzel, and O.R. Mcmonigle. 

The league was created with three divisions.  The Bantam Division was for boys who did not turn 11 prior to January 1, 1953.  The Bantam Division had 29 boys sign up the first season.  The Midget Division was for boys who did not turn 13 prior to January 1, 1953 and had 35 boys the first season.  The Juvenile Division was for boys who did not turn 15 prior to January 1, 1953 and had 36 boys the first season.

Opening day was held on Mothers Day, 1953.  The league opened with 12 teams in the three divisions, including a team in each division from R-7 Gray Summit.  The Washington managers were listed as Henry Michel, Francis Straatmann, Hadley Vitt, Carl Hansmann, James Rennick, Vincent Eckelkamp, G.W. Pingel, Charles Brune, and Frank Chilovich.  The diamonds used by the league was Ronsick Field and East End Diamond.   The league opened play for the first time with a game between Tri-County Equipment managed by Hadley Vitt versus the Elks Club managed by Jim Rennick.

The teams for the first season were Tri County Equipment, Elks, Rauch Lumber, Droeges, Top Hat Club, Wehmuellers, Riechers Station, Bank of Washington, VFW, and R-7 Gray Summit.

The league added Khoury League Football in 1966 and at the end of the season held it's first "Salute to Football" event with players from six Washington teams seeing action in the all star games.  

Change was on the horizon as the 1970’s started.  On January 15
th, 1970, a delegation of 9 women appeared at the Khoury League board meeting and brought up the idea of girls softball.  The board agreed that they would like to start softball but diamond space was a major problem.  They would also need more help to run an additional program.  The board decided to move forward with the idea and on February 16, 1970, 162 girls signed up to play.  Late sign up brought the total number to 179 players which would be assigned to 11 teams.  There would also be 408 boys signed up which were assigned to 32 baseball teams. 

In 1976, the league would vote to leave the Khoury League organization and renamed the league Washington Little League.  It would not be associated with the national little league organization.   This would remain in place until the late 90's.  In 1996, Mike Stapp joined the board and was elected president of the association in 1997.   The board would decide to affiliate with the national Babe Ruth League and started sending teams to regional and state tournaments.  The league became a force in softball at this point with several  very successful teams on the national level.   In 2003, Lindsey Stapp was the first and only player from Washington selected as the Commissioner's Award winner and was selected as the team Most Valuable player.  In 2006, The Washington Wildfire team would become the first State Championship team from the Washington League and would continue on to win the Regional Championship as well.  The following year three softball teams from Washington would go on to win state championships.  

In 2009, the league would leave the national Babe Ruth League with the exception of a couple of softball teams left to compete for national honors.  The older Lady Saints team won their way to the World Series where they did not win but played well and had a great experience.  That year the league name was changed to Washington Youth Sports Association where it remains as of 2020.  

In 2019 after 22 years as President of the association, Mike Stapp stepped down from the position and Chris Hahne was elected the new President.   

Over the years the league has flourished and continues to provide a first class experience for the children of the Washington community.


Contact

Washington Youth Sports Association
Chris Hahne 
Washington, Missouri 63090

Phone: 636-390-3348
Email: [email protected]

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