The White Plains Examiner

Lauren O’Connor Keeping Rec Softball a Competitive and Fun Activity

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White Plains Recreation Department Senior Recreation Leader Lauren O’Connor is spending her first summer as Softball Supervisor overlooking the popular White Plains Rec Softball Program. O’Connor also plays for famed Healy Electric in the Women’s League and two Co-ed Division teams. Albert Coqueran Photos
White Plains Recreation Department Senior Recreation Leader Lauren O’Connor is spending her first summer as Softball Supervisor overlooking the popular White Plains Rec Softball Program. O’Connor also plays for famed Healy Electric in the Women’s League and two Co-ed Division teams. Albert Coqueran Photos

Frank Mageletta, the longtime White Plains Recreation Department Supervisor retired last year after over 26 years of service to the White Plains community. For 15 of those years, Magaletta was the Supervisor of the popular White Plains Recreation Softball Leagues, which grew in popularity under his tenure.

Nonetheless, White Plains Recreation Softball was left in very competent hands when the Recreation Department announced that Lauren O’Connor would take over as Softball Supervisor under her title of Senior Recreation Leader.

O’Connor had been employed by the White Plains Recreation Department for eight years before accepting the position of Softball Supervisor, a monumental responsibility which encompasses a variety of challenges.

O’Connor is responsible for arranging sponsored teams to join the leagues and incorporates their playing schedules. She also must substantiate that the fields are fit for play and that umpires are available to officiate each game. She also makes the decision when games have to be postponed due to weather and records the wins and losses for standings purposes. O’Connor also supervises that all managers and players participating in the Softball Program abide by the rules and protocols under the standard of the White Plains Recreation Department.

However, O’Connor, as Softball Supervisor, is not alone while attempting to meet the many daily challenges. Lou DeMarco, an Assistant Softball League Coordinator has stayed on to assist O’Connor. DeMarco is a staple of White Plains Recreation Softball, having worked for the White Plains Recreation Department for 54 years.

Also, O’Connor has hired Ryan Mathews, as an Assistant League Coordinator.

Mathews is the son of the late Guy Mathews, the longtime and heralded Guidance Counselor and Assistant Hockey Coach at White Plains High School.

To grasp a complete perspective of the challenges this crew faces while operating one of the most popular summer activities in White Plains, understand, that there are three leagues competing in White Plains Recreation Softball; the Women’s League, Men’s League and Co-ed League.

The Women’s League has six teams competing for the League and Playoff Championships. Comparably, the Men’s League consists of Five Divisions with a total of 38 competing teams. Furthermore, the ever popular social venue, the Co-ed League has three Divisions with 24 teams vying for League and Playoff superiority. There are a total of 68 teams playing during the summer in the White Plains Recreation Softball Leagues.

“I think the competitiveness of this program attracts teams. Also, White Plains has a lot of businesses especially in the downtown area. A lot of the Co-ed business teams were looking to get into the league. I have three Co-ed Divisions this year,” said O’Connor.

O’Conner comes from a lineage of Recreation experience, which has helped her maintain her perspective concerning the vast tasks at hand. Her grandfather, Joe Curtis is a former Commissioner of Recreation for the City of White Plains and New Rochelle. O’Connor’s mother Kathleen O’Connor is the well-known Commissioner of Westchester County Parks and Recreation

“Mom helps me out a lot. We have a relationship where when I do ask her about work, she answers me not as a mother but as another recreation professional, as a boss in that aspect. She definitely has been a strong backbone for me and has helped me,” O’Connor acknowledged.

Additionally, O’Connor is not just the Softball Supervisor; she is a player as well, while participating on three different teams in the White Plains Softball Leagues. O’Connor is one of the exceptional players in the League and very in demand for her playing skills.

For many years she has donned the green-and-gold uniform of the Healy Electric Peaches. O’Connor also plays on the first place Max Impact team of the Co-ed A Division and the first place Sprint team in the Co-ed B Division.

O’Connor understands the potential for conflict of interest but put all that in perspective to each team when she assumed the position of Softball Supervisor. I really try to separate myself. I expressed to everyone at the Managers Meetings that when I am on the field playing, I am not at work,” explained O’Connor. “I make it very well known that if you have an issue you can call, e-mail or text me but talk to me afterwards not on the field, as the umpires are in charge during the games,” stressed O’Connor.

Brewskies is the reigning League and Playoff Champions of the Women’s League. Brewskies beat O’Connor’s Healy Electric 2-1 in the three-game Playoff Championship Series last year. Presently, Brewskies and Healy Electric are tied on top of the Women’s League at 8-2, with Buffalo Wild Wings two games back at 6-2.

A new entry this year into the very competitive Men’s A Division, 6th Boro, is leading the pack with a 9-2 record. The steady year-to-year Riemans Auto Body is in second place at 9-3, with the current Men’s A Division League and Playoff Champions Mansion on Broadway in third place at 8-4.

O’ Connor, in her first year at the helm of the Softball Leagues understands that the challenges will keep emerging throughout the summer and then the Fall League will commence. “I am enjoying it. I really like having the opportunity to run the program. I take pride in the program and I really desire for people to want to play here,” expressed O’Connor.

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