UNION, NJ – The players are ready. The field is primed And the weather is going to be perfect for the 6th Annual Burnet vs. Kawameeh Alumni Softball Rumble set for this weekend.
The friendly rivalry between Kawameeh and Burnet Middle School alumni has heated up over the years. Kawameeh’s team has won the rumble the last four years. Held at Biertuempfel Park, Burnet and Kawameeh grads are once again prepared to play hard and win the trophy for their alma mater.
“This is a great, unique event,” said event organizer and Burnet graduate Bill Scheiner. “I chat with a lot of people about this event and they are all jealous. Then I realize how unique it really is. This helps connect people and shows the pride we have for Union.”
Scheiner said former Union High School baseball coach Gordon LeMatty will be attending the game this year. “He’s a legend,” said Scheiner. “He’s in his 80s. He wants to play. He currently plays in an over-80 softball league.” LeMatty started his coaching career in Union in 1959, and built the program into one of the finest in New Jersey. He retired in 1991.
Organized by Scheiner, Gary Freeman, Leigh Chapman, Rich D’Avanzo and John Zurka, the event features the game and then food and drinks at the Knights of Columbus.
“It’s all about having fun,” said Scheiner. “We all grew up in Union. We have strong ties to this town and we really have a lot of respect for it.”
Scheiner, a Burnet graduate, said the event began as a result of a discussion he had with a friend who attended Kawameeh about which school was better. “We thought about having a football game to hash it out,” said Scheiner, “but since a lot of us are over 50, we decided on softball.”
The game is set for Saturday, Sept. 22, at 1:00 p.m. at Biertuempfel Park.
All of the funds raised by the event, via t-shirt sale, a 50/50 and individual donations, are donated to the Township of Union Education Foundation.
Scheiner said they are looking for younger players to get involved next year. “Players are getting older so we’re trying to branch out to the younger alumni.”