From the ceremony on a rainy Saturday morning, if you play softball in Loudoun, Madison Small touched your life.
Around 300 softball players, coaches, family members, and county officials were on hand on a rainy Saturday morning for the dedication of the Madison Small Softball Complex. In March, the county named two softball fields at Trailside Park in Ashburn after the longtime and well-loved softball player, who died suddenly of a rare bacterial meningitis infection in her senior year of high school in April 2015.
“Madison had such a love for life and people, from her family, to her friends, to her school, to her teammates,” said Madison’s father, Tim Small. He credited Supervisor Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn), Supervisor Suzanne M. Volpe (R-Algonkian), Loudoun Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Service Steve Torpe and his staff, and Tim Small’s lifelong friend Tommy Moorcones with the softball complex’s new name.
Madison’s co-captain, Suzanne Gobstein, recounted how Madison skipped prom to play for her team and had a rib surgically removed so that she could continue to play softball, in addition to being a friend, leader, and mentor to everyone she played with.
“She was an outstanding player, and if there’s one girl who can truly embody the meaning of a softball player, it was Madison,” Gobstein said. “Madison was strong on and off the field.”
The annual Ashburn Girls Softball League Scholarship has also been renamed the Madison Small Scholarship.
Buona read a resolution passed by supervisors on March 17 naming two softball fields at Trailside Park. The resolution, he said, memorializes Madison “from here to pretty much eternity.”
“This will outlive all of our mortality,” Buona said. “Madison will be enshrined in this park today, and I think she’s looking down at us right now and she’s saying, ‘good job Loudoun County, good job Ashburn, mom, dad, we love you.’”
Tim Small closed out the ceremony.
“Play the game to its fullest,” he said. “Have fun. Set the right example and do the right thing. Help others and be kind. Once again, thank you to everyone for making this possible and for sharing this morning with us. We hope the Madison Small Softball Complex will continue to be a place for fun, family, learning, teamwork, competition, camaraderie and friendship, as it has been to Madison and our family, and that her spirit will continue to inspire us.
“Thank you again to everyone, and let’s play ball.”