Matthews resigns as LGS commissioner

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tony Matthews has been elected as the Dixie Softball District 1 Director, and with this new position he is required to leave behind the role of Lunenburg Girls’ Softball (LGS) Commissioner that he has held since 1999. He started in 1998 as co-commissioner.

“I’m both very excited, and I’m very sad at the same time,” Matthews said. “Of course, I have been at LGS … for 20 of the 25 years that it has been in existence, and been commissioner for 20 of those years and just super excited to see it grow and flourish into the league that it has been. We’ve had some championships, we’ve had some good runs, and I’m just really excited that it got to be as big as it did.”

“But I’m going to miss all of what I consider ‘my girls,’ those kids that come up to you and know who you are and hug you, that’s the part I’m going to really miss,” he said.

In an email written to the LGS community, Matthews noted that for the past 20 years, his life has been at Bolter Field in the LGS complex on 129 N. Maple St. in Kenbridge.

“Many of you have played an intricate part in that life,” he wrote. “I hope to have done the same for many of you.”

Ashley Wallace is one of the girls who played on an LGS team from the youngest to the oldest age possible, and now she coaches within the organization.

Recalling Matthews’ impact on her, she said, “I’ll always consider him my favorite coach. He was more than just a softball coach, though. He was a life coach. He has taught me so much throughout the years about relationships with other people and how being kind to someone can go a very long way. I carry a lot of what he’s taught me through work even now. I’m a nurse, and a lot of that compassion and caring and coaching people through tough times came from Tony, honestly.”

She said the best advice he ever gave her came during a softball game in which the team was losing badly, she had an injury and she told him she was quitting.

“And he grabbed me by the shoulders, and he looked me in my eyes, and he said, ‘You are never done.’ … Every time I feel like I’m in a rut or I can’t do something at work or in life, that’s the first thing I think about, and I think that really speaks a lot for him. You want to be the kind of person he is when you grow up. I’ve always felt like I want people to look at me the way I look at Tony. He’s just an amazing person.”

As District 1 director, Matthews will represent Brunswick, Blackstone, Cartersville, Crewe, Dinwiddie, Farmville, Lunenburg, including LGS, and South Hill.

He will be a liaison between the state and district levels, he’ll represent leagues in his district at state meetings, will be in charge of District 1 tournaments and will have some responsibilities in connection to state tourneys in the area.

“I’m excited to try and make some changes on behalf of the parents and the players and see where we can make this Dixie organization even better for players in the future,” Matthew said.

As for LGS, he said the organization is looking to have a new commissioner in place by February or March 2018.