The History of LYA
This is an outline story about men and women with vision who worked to make the place where they lived a very family-oriented community centered on children. Now we all enjoy the fruits of their labor and below is the story of how it all began, how it grew, where it is now and where it is going in the future.
Expansion – 1980-89
Although the building of Lionville Park was scheduled for completion over a 10-year-period, on July 4, 1980, the park was formally dedicated at the flag pole area of the new Little League Field A. Supervisor Sam Matthews officiated.
- Seven Eagle Projects in Lionville Park:
- Pat Kane – Troop 216 cut in by hand Field J for girls softball.
- Andy Rolen – Troop 216 built the first base bleachers at Senior Field
- Jon Pulsifer Troop 23 built the 3rd base bleachers at Senior Field.
- John Foster – Troop 23 – built a new tot lot, sandbox, horseshoe pits and sitting benches
- Rob Kirkbride – Troop 23 – designed and installed curbing in the parking lot.
- Ben Tharp – Troop 216 – rebuilt 6 bleacher sections
- Jonathan Carter – Troop 89 – built erosion ditch at end of driveway
1980 – a milestone year
- The new Major Little Field A was christened with a Rookie All-star game in June and was used for tournament play the rest of the season.
- Three new fields were ready for play – Main Soccer, Pipeline and Field J
- LYA received a $10,000 grant from revenue-sharing money from Uwchlan Township.
- George Rodgers, Clair and Butch Koser built a new tractor/maintenance shed at Field C. George Rogers, on his backhoe, installed a full drainage system under the bases at Senior Field. Giant drainage pits were installed in Senior outfield.
- Rich Evangelista cut in new windows, paneled and re-wired the Concession Stand.
- Bell Telephone installed a pay phone at the entrance to the park and lights were added to the parking lot.
- LYA coaches took 156 Major Little Leaguers to Williamsport for the week-end.
- Basketball added a 9-year-old girls rookie program and registered 52 teams.
- Soccer moved registration to June because the program was too big to organize in September and play a full schedule.
Registration – Before Online Registration!
After three years of construction – Lionville Park was officially open and LYA held Super Sunday on the new Senior Field.
- New Field A was renamed Foster Field to honor Dorothy Foster’s work in Lionville Park.
- Rich Evangelista became President of the newly formed Lionville Babe Ruth League- replacing LYA’s affiliation with Senior Little League.
- Bernie Hankin donated a water line and fountain to Lionville Park and the LYA Concession Stand. A Travelers Insurance grant helped build a new picnic area.
- Batting Cages, overhang and electric scoreboard were installed at Foster Field. The scoreboard was installed by Jim Fitzmier and Rich Evangelista in the rain.
- Lionville Little League Majors spent its second weekend in Williamsport.
- LYA adopted a working Operations Manual.
- LYA had 68 baseball teams playing on 11 fields and 74 soccer teams playing on 9 fields
- LYA formed Senior Chesmont Travel Team League for boys 16-18.
- LYA hosted McDonald’s Side-Kick Soccer Program.
- Wrestling moved its annual tournament to Downingtown High School.
- Soccer added three new fields – Two at Uwchlan Hills School and one at Acker Park. QYX Office Equipment donated $5,000 to the park. With the money, QYX volunteers helped LYA build a new softball field at the Main Soccer area. Uwchlan Township donated money for fencing.
LYA formed a committee to address increasing equipment and maintenance costs and to devise a way to insure a small capital surplus each year for expansion. Charging a refundable maintenance fee had not worked and was too hard to administer.
LYA developed and adopted a new accounting procedure that would raise all registration fees to a conforming level and put all revenue into a general fund. Each budget line item was assigned a specific number. All sports would net out or produce income. Maintenance and operating expenses would now be a general expense. This accounting system is still in use and produced great results.
- LYA officially changed Opening Day from Sundays to Super Saturdays in order to play more games on Opening Day.
- Sue Shrum introduced LYA to its 6th sport – Girls Field Hockey.
- Lionville Softball hosted its first ASA/LYA softball week-end tournament. Chairman: Bill O’Neil
- Lionville Little League was invited back to Williamsport for a weekend of fun and baseball.
- LYA won the District 23 “First Place Tournament” – Coach Otto Preikszas and his “Purple People Eaters”.
- Coach Scott Yard’s Minor A Team won the 50-team District 28 Minor A Tournament.
- Don Anders built a new LYA sign at the Devon Drive/ Field C area.
- A new Press Box at Foster Field was built with grants from the Huston Foundation ($2500), Deluxe Check Writers ($1,000) and donations of material from Certainteed. Dick Shreiner donated the cement floor, Don Anders and Dorothy Foster finished the inside. Al Foster and Elmer Talierco built the first floor storage shelves.
- A 16-foot addition doubled the size of the concession stand. Rich Evangelista wired both the press box and the stand.
- DASD gave permission to build a parking lot on the grassy area across from Field B.
- United Way Donor Option Plan netted LYA $6,000.
- LYA Wrestling Tournament moved back to Lionville Junior High School.
LYA again tried to institute better money control. A new computerized budgeting number system was adopted, equipment was centralized, and storage boxes were installed at all outer fields. From that point on, sports produced a positive cash flow.
- Don Anders was elected President and presented a $3500 check from Sun Oil for a new tractor.
- LYA Board of Directors expanded membership from 17 to 21.
- LYA hosted two Soccer teams from Newport, England, in 4-day soccer jamboree. The boys stayed with LYA families.
- Frank Coldren introduced LYA to its 7th sport – TRAVEL SOCCER and LYA joined EPYSA with five teams. LYA fielded 70 Intramural soccer teams in 10 leagues.
- LYA hosted the Field Hockey Olympic Team.
- Babe Ruth 16-18’s took first place trophy at its Division championship.
- LYA hosted Tournaments for – 44-team District 23 Minor A, District 23 International games (LYA places 2nd in Districts), 13-Year-Old Babe Ruth, and week-end softball. Soccer was reopened for girls in grades 4-6 after a year’s hiatus.
- LYA built a float and marched in the Uwchlan Tri-Centennial Celebration Parade.
- A first – LYA hosted the 13-year-old Babe Ruth STATE Tournament.
- LYA hosted the District 23 Minor League (44 team) tournament with Exton LL., and its annual softball tournament
- 50 softball teams participated in a Celebrity Event to raise money for the Bob McKee medical fund – including the Villanova Big 5 Championship Team, the Eagle Cheerleaders, Channel 6 Scott Palmer, and the 76ers Big Shot. McKee had a near fatal heart attack on Field B.
- LYA installed two soccer fields (Eagle #1 & Eagle #2) in Hickory Park in Upper Uwchlan. These fields were abandoned when Hickory Park was closed for major renovations.
- Uwchlan Township built a 20-station jogging trial through Lionville Park.
- TRAVEL SOCCER added two girls teams. GIRLS FIELD HOCKEY added program for grades 7-9. It lasted for one year. LYA was running out of field space.
- LYA received permission from West Pikeland to build a soccer field at the Hallman Field area.
- LYA hosted the 13-year-old Districts, a 50-team Minor A Tournament and the ASA Softball Tournament
- On December 11th – Don Anders. Jack McSherry and Dorothy Foster traveled to Harrisburg to give testimony before the Judiciary Subcommittee on House Bill 1625 – extending Good Samaritan immunity to volunteers and organizations involved in youth sports.
- Dick Shreiner poured a new floor for tractor shed addition to house a new golf cart.
- U14 girls Travel Soccer finished lst in their league…U16’s finished 2nd. U10 boys entered the State Cup Championships.
- Bill O’Neil was elected President and commissioned girls softball.
- Uwchlan Township purchased 37 acres for Shamona Main and Shamona Peck Parks.
- In May, LYA officers (Bill O’Neil, Don Anders, Jack McSherry and Dorothy Foster) and their kids in uniform were invited to Harrisburg by Governor Thornburg for the signing of House Bill -1625 and Senate Bill – 1197 which protected volunteers from lawsuits.
- LYA hosted the PA Babe Ruth 14-15 Year-Old State Finals. LYA housed 80 players from the 9-team tournament LYA took second place. Lionville Little League – hosted a Minor A Tournament -50 teams on five fields.
Click these images to see them better.
- LYA softball hosted the PA State Title Tournament.
- LYA Travel Soccer Teams – Boys 10U- lst place in Delco League, 16U – lst place winter league GIRLS – 14U & 16U – First place at Harrisburg Tourney.
- First Edition Restaurant donated $1100 for safety masks, which LYA made mandatory.
- Dr. Don Dockstader built a portable concession stand for LYA.
- LYA added a $5,000 French drain system at Hallman Field to alleviate ground water coming from the ground up from nearby stream.
- New rookie baseball fields were developed at Acker Park in Uwchlan and Hickory Park in Upper Uwchlan
- New batting cages were constructed at Foster Field. Bill Cleary and crew hung the nets.
- LYA revised trophy policy and added special recognition policy.
- Lionville Little League won 36-team John Kline Invitational: Coaches Jim Harkins and Tim Carroll
- Lionville Softball travel team won the ASA U12 PA State Title. Coach: Mike O’Brien.
- Mo Fennimore and Jim Quirk led the U15 Blues to a first place title in the Lionville Ches-mont Regionals.
- LYA Softball developed Senior A program for 16-18, Senior B for 13-15 and Rookie 6-7-8.
- LYA Travel Soccer U12 boys went 7-0 – took three first place tournaments – Coaches Jim Harkins and Darrell Nagle.
- Wrestler Kurt Haines won a gold medal at Keystone Games.
- Lionville Babe Ruth 14-15’s take infield practice at the Vet on Lionville Night. The Phils beat the Mets.
In 1988 – a milestone year
1. LYA LL International All Stars take District 23 Championship…first since 1979 – coaches Jim Harkins and Jack McSherry.
2. Rich Evangelista installed hot water in the concession stand.
3. Uwchlan Township announced additional open space for playing fields in two new developments – The Seasons and Arbordayle.
4. New Dugout covers and seats for Field J.
5. Eagle #3 soccer field is developed in Upper Uwchlan.
6. LYA Girls softball entered two travel teams in the Tri-County summer league and added 30 games to its schedule. U12’s placed 2nd in State Finals.
7. LYA revised trophy policy for first place teams only. No other trophies authorized.
8. LYA abandoned Hallman Soccer field because of problems with ground water, insects from adjacent stream, poor parking and dangerous bridge crossing.
9. Because LYA had a record registration, it appointed a committee to define new territorial boundaries and project a time schedule for a territorial by township division.
- Sponsor Chairman Bill Gavin turned in a record $18,225 in sponsor money.
- 1976 Travel Soccer won A-division Delco League Coaches Harkins and Nagle, 1978 team won the “B”Delco Division – Coaches Ken Cooper and John Webb.
- LYA fielded 80 baseball/softball teams, 65 soccer teams, 7 travel soccer teams, 6 field hockey teams, 50 basketball teams and 100 wrestlers. 8 teams in Babe Ruth got new uniforms.
- Jim Brown resigned from the LYA 16-18 team to coach Downingtown Legion Team. New coaches Bruce Jordan and Ed Brownly.
- Harkins/Nagle Travel Soccer team won State Finals.
- LYA hosted the Babe Ruth Prep League PA State Championship.