YORK — Sports enthusiasts in western York County remember Ruth McGill’s impact on women’s softball in this area long before the city’s annual Summerfest softball tournament.
Carolyn Leake, director of the York Parks and Recreation Department, talked about the Smyrna native’s contributions.
“We’re not sure how long the city has held a softball tournament the day of Summerfest,” said Leake. “We know that Ruth McGill organized softball tournaments in the area before the city began hosting tournaments. She did an outstanding job of promoting softball in the area.
“It was a natural fit when the city got involved.”
York’s 30th annual Summerfest on Aug. 24 will include a range of athletic events, from the annual softball tournament to tennis, golf and road races.
McGill – a player-coach who organized women’s softball tournaments from the 1970s into the 1990s – recalls the Summerfest Softball Tournament at Cannon Mills fields No. 1 and 2.
“They needed some help one year, and we got together six to eight women’s teams for the event,” McGill said. “They also had men’s teams participating.”
McGill’s teams included her daughters Lynn McGill and the late Sherry McGill, who played on a state title-contending York High School team and became a softball standout at Winthrop University.
Leake and the York Parks and Rec staff are excited about the Aug. 24 softball tourney at the York Recreation Complex that coincides with the Summerfest celebration.
Leake said she looks for registration to pick up during the week before the event. “Most teams register the final week,” she said. “Late registration is the norm for most tournaments.”
Leake said the tournament has a lot of local appeal. “A good many of the local teams look forward to returning each year,” she said. “It’s a one-day event that carries into night games.”
Teams from other areas of the state have participated in past Summerfest tournaments, including Greenville, Spartanburg and Columbia.
The entry deadline is Aug. 21. Call the York Recreation Department at 803-684-3742 for more information.
The USTA-affiliated Summerfest Tennis Tournament begins 5 p.m. Aug. 23, extending to Aug. 25 if necessary, on the York Comprehensive High School courts.
York attorney Jim Bradford, a longtime tennis promoter in the community, said, “The YCHS courts are among the best in the state,” he said.
Bradford said the tournament is scheduled as a three-day event, depending on how the matches play out the first two days. “The tournament was over by 8 p.m. Saturday last year,” he said.
This year’s divisions, with USTA ratings points, include: Men’s open singles and doubles, 3.0-4.5; women’s singles and doubles, 2.5-4.5; mixed doubles, 3.5-5.0 (no combination higher than 9.0.)
USTA ratings above 4.5 require open-division play.
Seniors 50 and older events: Men’s singles, 3.0-4.0; women’s singles, 2.5-4.0; combo mixed doubles, 6.0-9.0.
Participants can register online at http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments. The ID number is 704106513.
Entry deadline is Aug. 18. For details, call 803-326-3842.
The golf tournament has long been the launching pad for Summerfest. The Aug. 23 event’s noon shotgun start gets the weekend rolling with the 27th year of Bank of York sponsorship.
Participation has been heavy over the years, with more of the same expected for the two-man Captain’s Choice event.
“The popularity of the annual tournament brings golfers back to Spring Lake Country Club each year from York, Clover, Fort Mill and Rock Hill,” said Marc Lubiato, Bank of York senior vice president. “They look forward to the tournament. It becomes an annual reunion for many of the golfers.”
The field is limited to the first 64 teams (128 participants). USGA rules apply, with handicaps to be verified by tournament organizers. This year’s grand prize includes three-night accommodations for four at the Sands Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach, three rounds of golf and $250 cash compliments of the Bank of York.
Tournament applications are available at the Greater York Chamber of Commerce, Spring Lake Country Club and the Bank of York.
Sponsorship of the annual tournament is a source of pride for the Bank of York. “We look forward to the tournament and look for outstanding participation once again,” said Lubiato.
The entry deadline is Aug. 21. For more information, call 803-325-4611.
The annual Summerfest 10K, 5K and Fun Run on Aug. 24 draw participants from around the region.
For the second year, Harriett Kinsey is coordinating the races with Molly Baker. “The banner is up and we are distributing fliers,” Kinsey said. “We know that race-day registration has been heavy in the past.”
Registration for the 5K and 10K runs will be Aug. 24 from 7 to 7:40 a.m. at the McCelvey Center origination point on East Jefferson Street., with the race to start at 8 a.m.
Registration for the Fun Run will begin at 9 a.m., with runners to be at the starting line at 9:40 a.m.
Kinsey said precautions have been taken for the August heat. “There will be water stops every 2 miles for the 10K race and two water stops available for the 5K race,” Kinsey said.
She said the race routes will be the same as in previous years.
Kinsey said she and Baker will reap the benefits of coordinating the races last year. “We know what to expect,” she said.