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STORY OF THE WATERTOWN RAPIDS
1997- Robin Neumann, Denise Brown, Bob Pandiscia form the Watertown Rapids from girls that play Little League softball.(The players played in both leagues for two seasons.) With the help of some fundraising from Sue Koliani, we put both a 12 & Under and 16 & Under team into the Central Valley Fastpitch league. Peg Germanine & Mary Torp coach the 16's and Robin, Bob, and Denise coach the 12's. Both teams have a moderate amount of success but a great deal of fun in their first competitive season. 1998- 14 U team is added and coached buy Michelle Cutrali. The 16 & Under team is coached by Judy Nelson and Dani Brown they have a tremendous run through the CVFL Tournament and are the underdog champs of the CVFL. 1999- 12 & Under team has the best record to date. The 14 & under team represent us in the ASA state tournament and make a good showing. Dan O'Brien teams up with Dani Brown to coach the 16 & Under team. 2000- George Palomba takes over the reigns of the 14 & Under team. They play in tournaments in New Milford and Leonmeister MA. The CVFL adds 10U division. The Rapids give the youngest girls from Watertown a place to play good softball and under Coach Gene Caouette, they place 2nd in the regular season and in the league tournament. The 16 & under team joins the Waterbury High School Joan Joyce League and end up in third place against teams that were a bit older. 2001-Gene & Karen Blake coach the 10 & Under team to a very successful 2nd place finish in the regular season. The 12 & under team lose many close games throughout the season. But they do pretty well during the tournament and win 2 games and tie another. The 14 & Under Rapids and George have a fine season. They have a great win over a quality New Milford team and give every team they play in the tournament a good game. The 16's coached by Dani, Dan & Carl Hellmann win the Joan Joyce Tournament and are the best team in that 18 & Under league. They end up in third place in the CVFL. GROWS (Girls Rapids Oakville/ Watertown Softball) is formed to finally give fastpitch softball players in Watertown and Oakville A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN . Divisions are formed to include girls ages 5-18 both in-town and travel. George Palomba is voted president and the board consists of representatives of both The Rapids and Little League. GROWS 2002 We enjoy our first season as the exclusive provider of organized girls softball in Watertown.We have a wonderful opening day ceremony. The travel teams enjoy increased success. Crestwood Ford wins the majors division title coached by Dan O'Connell. 2003 The Rapids travel teams generate more and more interest. The minors division plays some of the best softball yet. We host our first tournamnet at Swift for 10 & Under and 12 & Under teams. The Rapids 12 & under finish 2nd in the homerun derby.The 14 & Under Rapids finish in 2nd place during the CVFL regular season. The 16 & Under Joan Joyce team lose in the league semi-finals. Anita Kalenauskas coaches the Seimon Company majors team to the league title. 2004 The Rapids Teams have great success. The 14 & Under team wins the CVFL and both the 10U's and 12U's had a great chance to be CVFL Tourney champs but horrible weather on Sunday morning put an end to the dream of a RAPIDS sweep of the tournament. The Joan Joyce 18U Team also found a trophy at the end of the season. They were Joan Joyce League runner-ups losing 7-4 to the Waterbury Bunker Hill Team. The In-Town programs continued to grow with 4 full teams in each of three divsions. Opening Day was a rainy mess but the games still got played. The majors ALL-Star team was the host of our annual GROWS tournament. Fourteen players, chosen by the coaches, played tournament softball for the first time. We experimented with adding two Wolcott teams to our majors divison in-town schedules as non-league members. They were tough competion but they did give our teams hotdogs after the games. Jim Kowalsi and his Porter & Chester Majors team are both regular season and play-off champs. 2005 The minors division expands to 5 teams. Jim Kowalski's Porter and Chester team become a dynasty in the majors with their second straight league and tournament championship. The 14 and Under travel team is co-champs at the pony tournament in Virginia Beach. Craig Cordon coaches the 12's to another successful season, Mike Risucci takes over at the 10U level and Brian Stanley leads the 16 and Under Rapids. 2006-Jim Kowalski retires from coaching the Porter & Chester Majors with his third consecutive league championship. 14U Travel Rapids win regular season CVFL championship. GROWS has more teams than ever with the minors and majors division each having 6 teams.