When Mom and Dad built the family home in Marsh Addition in Westernport in 1969, we four kids were so excited for this new adventure! Finally, I would have my own bedroom, and as a young girl on the cusp of teenage life, privacy would be a premium!

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
When Mom and Dad built the family home in Marsh Addition in Westernport in 1969, we four kids were so excited for this new adventure! Finally, I would have my own bedroom, and as a young girl on the cusp of teenage life, privacy would be a premium!
Since there were four kids in the family, in no time our home became the place where many neighborhood children came to play. The favorite game of choice? KICKBALL.
I have so many, many fond memories of that game. We set up the kickball "field" in the street in front of our house - marking homeplate, first base (in front of Beverly Williams' house), second base - in the middle of the road straight ahead in line with homeplate, third base (the fire hydrant), and pitcher's mound right in the center.
My memory (which might be a little less accurate these days) tells me we played many days and evenings throughout the week. My dad (many of you may remember Fred Cavin "Mr. Able Cable") was always the pitcher for both teams. We kids quickly divided into teams, determined which team was up first, and then played what seemed like hours! Such fun...trying to score runs, trying to make it safely to the bases and of course - trying to kick home runs!
We all had to try NOT to kick into Mrs. Greaves' yard, though - automatic foul! She was quite the flower and gardening enthusiast, and she didn't take kindly to us having to traipse through her handiwork to retrieve kickballs.
These games were one of the highlights of my childhood. Playing hard, competing to win...not caring what the weather was. All that mattered was all of us neighborhood kids getting together to play kickball with Mr. Cavin - my dad.
Sometimes our games would end with a neighborhood water battle - with hoses, buckets, squirt guns - all using our family's water. Then, when it got dark, it was time for Hide and Seek. The best of times...times before high school, homework, lots of studying, first loves, broken hearts and graduation. Times when the innocence of childhood created such passion for the simple things in life - capped off many times with ice-cold black cherry Kool-Aid or Fudgcicles. Times I will always remember.
I hesitate to name some of those who played kickball because there were so many, but let's see: my brother Rick (who now goes by Oscar);  my sister Jenny; my sister Debbie was only 3 or 4, so she mostly watched; Jim LeFew, Pat and Philip Perkins, Dobee Woy, Tootsie Arnold, Candy DeVore, Beverly and Karen Williams and so many, many others.
Our love for the game of kickball carried over in to school, when at recess, that is what we "youngsters" played. Sometimes, I would play jump rope with my friends, but mostly, kickball was what we all loved to play! Recess never lasted long enough to really get going with a game, but it was fun while it lasted...fun until we played again tomorrow!
Imagine my excitement when I discovered that kickball still carries on...right here in our own community! Will Hanlin, Josh Glass and Shane and Janelle Lambertson coordinate an annual kickball tournament, with funds raised for local ball teams from Westernport to Midland.
"Last year, we raised over $3,000 from this double-elimination tournament, and we were able to distribute the money throughout the area to benefit the kids' ball activities," says Will.
According to Will, the kickball event started out with him simply wanting to get some friends together to have some fun doing something different. He signed up a lot more teams than expected, so he and this core group decided to turn the event into a fundraiser to benefit children who loved to play ball. The first year, they raised less than $1,500, and that amount doubled last year.
Here's how it works: the committee recruits a maximum of 14 teams, which pay an entry fee of $150. Teams consist of a maximum of 15 players, and team members are encouraged to wear the same color, no numbers shirts.
In the middle of the double-elimination tournament, there is the children's game - where any child can be on a team to play their game of kickball. After their game, the tournament continues until one team has earned the championship trophy.
Teams are filling quickly, but there are slots still available. If interested in getting a team together, contact Will Hanlin through Facebook.
The kickball tournament is held at Meadow Park, Barton, Maryland, with the full support of Mayor Daniel Colmer, and where there are food and drink concessions and music all day. There are numerous sponsors who assist with the concessions' cost, and if interested in helping out with that, please contact Will or any of the committee members.
The committee was quick to acknowledge that this is a community- volunteer-driven event - with civic-minded folks having a blast while helping young children throughout these small towns. In fact, according to Will, in addition to the corporate sponsors, there are many individuals who contribute to sponsoring the event so that expenses are kept at a minimum.
The third annual Crickrat Kickball Tournament will be held, rain or shine, on Saturday, June 24. Teams are to be at the field at 9 a.m., with the first pitch at 10 a.m. Each team, once registered, will have been informed of all rules for the tournament, and each team will play three innings. There will also be an award for "Best Team Jersey."
Restrooms are available at the tournament.
I know June is three months away, and many of us are wishing for this snow and frigid cold to move out. But, think Spring...Summer!! Put the date on your calendar, get it scheduled, and on that day, bring your comfy chair or blankets and settle in for an exciting day of kickball, happy children, delicious food and great music - a wonderful way to spend a Saturday, don't you think?
For more information, the tournament is listed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/328684267527447/?ti=cl