Every year, the Times West Virginian evaluates stats and performances of softball players in the area in order to select its All-Mon Valley team.
Still, there will undoubtedly be snubs — players who are left off the list despite their many contributions and sacrifices to the team.
Headlining this year’s snub list is a player who spends hours each week crouched behind a makeshift plate at the house. A player who absorbs short hops and wild pitches like a champ. A player who, well ... is a man.
This year’s All-Snub Team MVP is John Latocha. He’s North Marion pitcher Chelsi Latocha’s “personal catcher” ... and her father.
Though he was disqualified from consideration because of his gender (and the fact that he isn’t actually a girls’ softball player), Mr. Latocha can take some solace in knowing the hours behind the dish paid off, as Chelsi Latocha has been named one of three Times West Virginian All-Mon Valley team captains.
Joining Latocha as captains are Alexis Richardson of Fairmont Senior and Hannah Ferrell of East Fairmont. A complete team roster can be found on Page 2B.
John Latocha started catching for his daughter when she was just 12 years old, which has resulted in numerous bruises and sore knees.
“He actually started wearing shin guards,” Chelsi Latocha laughed.