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Wiffle ball tournament in Whately to memorialize police chief, fund scholarships

The first annual Chief John F. Skroski Memorial Wiffleball Tournament will raise money for the scholarship fund in Skroski’s memory. The scholarships will go to senior basketball players at Frontier Regional and Hampshire Regional high schools. A boy or girl will be chosen from each school.

Christopher Skroski, son of the late chief, said the scholarships are a great way to honor his father because he has ties to towns in both school districts. He grew up in Whately and was police chief in Deerfield from 1973 to 1979 and in Southampton from 1984 to 1997. He lived in both communities before retiring to Whately.

Skroski supported youth sports throughout his life until he died June 16, 2011, at age 65.

“My father was a huge sports enthusiast,” Christopher Skroski said. “Along with coaching, during his time as Southampton police chief he sponsored summer basketball teams for Hampshire Regional, initiated basketball tournaments for grades seven through 11, facilitated improvements to the youth athletic fields in Southampton and also provided Peter Pan buses for Hampshire Regional basketball team’s away games during a western Massachusetts tournament in 1994.”

The wiffle ball tournament will take place at Skroski’s home at 128 Christian Lane in Whately, where his grandfather farmed and his father, after he retired, raised thoroughbred racehorses. He said there are five fields, four of which were constructed especially for the tournament.

The wiffle ball tournament includes an adult division and a 12-and-under division. Teams of three to five players must register by Friday. The cost is $15 per adult or $10 per child.

Winners of the tournament and the home run derby will take home trophies and other prizes. Skroski said there will also be T-shirts for participants and concessions for purchase.

Those interested in signing up can contact Christopher Skroski at 413-265-1668 or christopherski27@yahoo.com.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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