The Ways the Balls Bounce
Women’s sports, and the fans that gather to watch them, reign in warmer weather. Here is a sampling, but hardly a definitive list, of the various women’s public sports that our community enjoys. Get out there—ya gotta play to win!
What is free, friendly, and played outside from spring till fall with a small yellow ball? Tennis, of course. And it’s been happening every Saturday at the Cape Henlopen High School tennis courts for the last 12 years. Local tennis enthusiast, college professor, and aspiring meteorologist Lori Dewald organizes the local women’s tennis group and is proud that, after all these years, it is still going strong.
“We encourage all women to play with us regardless of their tennis skill level. We’ll even help you learn. And while many identify as part of the LGBTQ-specific community, we also have a few heterosexual women who enjoy the level of play and camaraderie,” said Dewald.
“With only a few exceptions, most of us happen to also be CAMP Rehoboth members, too” said Linda DeFeo, who is a CAMP Rehoboth Founders Circle Member and esteemed CAMP Rehoboth volunteer.
Another player, Renee Ejdaharian, indicated that anywhere from six to 14 women show up on any given Saturday, and sometimes even more. If you are new to the area, enjoy tennis, or just want to hit the ball around to see if this is your sport, you’re encouraged to check it out.
Start times vary based on the temperature, but generally the games begin around 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays. And, of course, Lori makes sure everyone knows the detailed weather forecast the night before. In fact, the entire group chimed in at once to mention Lori’s incredibly accurate forecasts. But that’s not all. The group says Lori sometimes brings food, too.
“Once in a while I will bake some cookies or brownies or muffins and bring them,” said Dewald. “But don’t only come for the sweets—that does not happen weekly,” she added. Interested in playing or checking it out? Reach out to Lori at: LoriDewald@yahoo.com or just show up on a Saturday morning at Cape Henlopen High courts.
Next up to bat on the roster is softball! That’s right, this long running and much-loved league, sponsored by Olivia Travel and run by Rina Pelligrini (another CAMP Rehoboth member and volunteer), is another subset of the women’s population getting their sports mojo in motion. “We have five full teams this year despite COVID, and many great fans who show up weekly for the Women’s Senior Softball League games at Epworth fields on Holland Glade Road,” said Pelligrini. The games, for women ages 45 and up, are played on Tuesday evenings (weather permitting) starting at 6:15 p.m. Tailgating—and the fun—usually extend past when the games end around dusk.
A new group of pickleballers, welcoming beginners to more experienced players, has formed this year. The group is led by Ann Mei Chang and Rina Pelligrini. They pair up the pickleball foursomes based on skill level. From the growing ranks, this seems to be a winning dink. “We are very excited and a little amazed how the number of women showing up to play keeps growing week after week,” said Chang. To find out more, simply show up on a Saturday morning between 9 and 11 a.m. at the Rehoboth Elementary School courts and seek out Ann Mei or Rina. They also play on Monday and Wednesday evenings, usually around 5:30 p.m.—weather permitting.
Thursday is a great day for golf! The CAMP Rehoboth Women’s Golf League plays nine holes at American Classic Golf in Lewes. This year’s interest has been phenomenal, and we appreciate the great work managing the large field of players by Jo Picone, Lana Warfield, and Pam Notarangelo. The league plays at 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. You can reach them at the course on Thursdays, or via Anita at CAMP Rehoboth. ▼
CAMP Rehoboth Development Director Anita Broccolino oversees and advances CAMP Rehoboth’s Development, Fundraising, and Communications efforts, while helping increase awareness in the community. If you would like to become a member, volunteer for events, or meet with Anita to discuss a donation, legacy, or planned giving gift, please call: 302-227-5620 or email: email@example.com.
Featured Image (L to R): Babs Butta, Linda DeFeo, Debbie Zwicke, Renee Ejdaharian, Faye Koslow, Diane Cooke, Merry Martin, Lori Dewald.