Spring softball is a long way off, but a doubleheader scheduled for April in Chester is not just any set of games. The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, known nationally for its players from the armed forces who have lost limbs in war yet refuse to quit, is coming to Chester County to take on two sets of Chester teams.
“To have this team filled with heroes is a great honor for Chester,” said Lorraine Povlick, one of the people from the Progressive Association of Chester County Communities that is hosting the event.
The games April 28 and a banquet honoring the team the night before at Chester’s Gateway Center, are being hosted by the Chester association, a nonprofit group. The teams of Chester players will take on the troops who travel around the country playing games to inspire people and at the same time help amputees.
The players use prosthetics to compete. The team is also a nonprofit, using the games to raise money for research and helping those troops who are dealing with injuries.
More, one of the players who will play for Chester in the series is Leonard Anderson, a Chester native who played for the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team for two years after being injured in Afghanistan in 2012. Anderson, who lost his left hand and three fingers on his right hand while in the Air Force as a dog handler, now plays for a Louisville team called the Louisville Slugger Warriors.
Anderson grew up in Chester and Rock Hill and joined the military shortly after graduating from Northwestern High School. He is returning home to play against the team that he said allowed him to return to softball. Anderson played for the the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team for two years as he learned to play the game again, he said.
The team has played in Charleston and Columbia in recent years. The Chester games will be at the Rodman complex off S.C. 9, east of Chester.
“Our motto that ‘life without a limb is limitless,’ is really what we are about, and we show it all over the country,” said Dennis Wince, executive director of the team.
Putting on such an event costs money – lodging for the warrior team, travel and other expenses. The Chester group so far has raised more than $15,000 through sponsorships and in-kind donations, but needs another $10,000 to pull it off. Lorraine Povlick and her husband, Mike, decided that even if they have to pay the balance out of their own pockets, that is what they will do.
“These players are heroes and to have them come here is an honor,” Lorraine Povlick said.
Want to help?
Contact the Progressive Association of Chester County Communities, 803-789-5809; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or write to 2762 W. Pinewood Road, Chester, SC 29706.