Lori Brown | Democrat
THE WJFF HYDROS softball team was victorious in its game last Wednesday against the Thunder 102 All-Stars at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley. In the front row, from left to right, are Bill Jumper, Mike D'Antonio, Ed Lamphier, David Dann, Dawn Helms and Ron Bernthal. In the back row, from left to right are Gandalf, John Gordon, Lisa Brody, Johnny Taylor, Reed Barnofsky, Jeff Loeffler, Mike Barnofsky and Jason Dole.
'Thunder' no match for 'Hydros'
By Lori Brown
MONGAUP VALLEY On Wednesday, June 18, the WJFF Radio Catskill Hydros brought a team of volunteers together to play the Thunder 102 Community All-Stars in a benefit softball game at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park.
WJFF station manager Mike D’Antonio was able to make this benefit possible with help from Jason Dole, who promoted the game. Thunder 102’s Paul Ciliberto also helped to set up the event.
Mike Sakell of Thunder 102 and Deborah Chandler, who hosts The Art of Being on WJFF at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, were the announcers for the game.
WJFF doesn’t charge for sponsorship, so the staff members raised money through silent auctions, 50/50 tickets, door prizes, and by charging a $1 admission fee for the game. The proceeds from the contest will support the nonprofit radio station.
D’Antonio thanked everyone for coming out to support the radio station in the unpredictable weather. “We are having a fun time,” D’Antonio said. “I also want to thank Thunder 102 for being involved with our non-commercial radio station.
Deborah Chandler said, “WJFF is really supportive and thankful to Thunder 102’s crowd and generosity. They are enthusiastic for both teams.”
“It is a chilly night, but fans still came here to support their community,” Chandler added.
The WJFF softball team consists of volunteers from the radio station as well as their friends and family members.
“They came out just for the fun of it,” D’Antonio said.
The Thunder 102 All-Stars roster included area business owners and members of the on-air staff.
The organizers gave special thanks to Dennis Dietrich and everyone from the Smallwood-Mongaup Valley Fire Department who worked so hard to prepare the field after it rained just minutes before the contest began.
The game’s umpires were Gandalf, President of the WJFF Board of Trustees and host of the morning/afternoon classics show, and Jim Boxburger from Monticello Farm and Garden.
Matt Dorcas supported both teams by hitting for both squads. His fiancee, Dawn Helms, is on the WJFF Board of Trustees and she promised D’Antonio that Dorcas would play for the WJFF Hydros. However, Dorcas recently accepted a position as local sales manager with Bold Gold Media Group, which owns Thunder 102 and several other local radio stations. So Dorcas also played for the Thunder 102 All-Stars.
WJFF won the very competitive game by the final score of 14-11.
WJFF held a 4-1 lead after two innings, but the Thunder 102 All-Stars scored six runs in the bottom of the third to grab a 7-4 advantage.
The All-Stars added three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. But WJFF scored six times in the top of the sixth to knot the score at 10-10. In the top of the seventh, WJFF scored four runs to take a 14-10 lead.
The All-Stars scored once in the bottom of the seventh, but could not get any closer as the Hydros recorded the three-run victory.