To see the Board of Directors for WCWAA, please visit the "Contacts" option on the main www.wcwaa.org webpage.
History of the Wesley Chapel-Weddington Athletic Association
Sports have been around the towns of Wesley Chapel and Weddington for many years. In Wesley Chapel baseball was played on the field behind what is now Wesley Chapel Elementary. In Weddington, the main field was on Weddington School Road behind the old Weddington High School, which is now the main sanctuary of Weddington United Methodist Church.
Johnny Varda remembers playing Pop Warner Football and Babe Ruth Baseball in the early to mid 1960’s. At that time, the area sports programs were organized by the Men’s Club of Weddington UMC.
In the fall of 1980 a group of local men formed a new civic club, The Weddington Optimist Club. This club was organized for civic and sports activities. The Optimist Club made major improvements to the field on Weddington School Road, including a new backstop, lights and concession stand.
David King and Dennis Layton were instrumental in bringing Soccer to Weddington in the Fall of 1981. At the time Waxhaw had the only area soccer program. However, Charlotte had the Carolina Lightning a professional team so soccer was growing in popularity.
They first offered baseball which was played in a Union County league that included Waxhaw, Prospect and other associations. Basketball was started about 1982. Practices were held at Wesley Chapel Elementary and games were held at Western Union Elementary which had a full size gym.
Girl’s softball had been played in the area for many years. The softball teams practiced and played at primarily at Buss Alexander Field on Newtown Road. The field behind Wesley Chapel Elementary was also used.
In February of 1983, the sports oriented members of the Optimist Club formed a new organization called the Wesley Chapel-Weddington Athletic Association that was just dedicated to sports. The first President was Ken Threatt. Dennis Layton was VP and Sonny Fenton was the Treasurer. Several of the key people involved were David Drye and Jerry McKee. Others who were involved or coached were Ron Stamey, John Varda, John Moga, Bill Lowe, Brad Guerin, Ronnie Steele, Al Lowery, Jan Taylor and others. In the early years the WCWAA was informally organized. The first year there were probably about five baseball teams from Tee Ball to 12 year olds.
About 1985 WCWAA was sanctioned to play Dixie Youth Baseball. So we mostly played against Indian Trail Athletic Association.
Thru the efforts of these individuals and the beginnings of growth in Union County, WCWAA was growing. There were starting to be too many sports and too many teams to just have the one field on Weddington School Road. So a search for land was undertaken in 1986. In 1987 16 acres were located on Highway 84 halfway between Weddington and Wesley Chapel. This land was being sold as part of the Plyler Family estate. The WCWAA had grown, but was not a strongly organized group at the time, so the Weddington Optimist Club stepped back into the picture. The land purchase price was $56,000. Ten of the Optimists put forward $1000 each for the downpayment on the land. On April 10, 1987 Weddington Optimist Park was reality. But, how to build fields? Large sums of money were required. Optimists and members of the WCWAA worked at Charlotte Motor Speedway parking cars, sold Christmas trees and worked a concession stand at Hornets games. A ground breaking was held Sept 12, 1987. However, construction didn’t start until Nov. 2, 1998 on a Tee-ball field, Coach Pitch and Majors field. Weddington Optimist Park had its first Opening Day ceremony on April 24, 1990. That Spring of 1990 WCWAA switched from Dixie Youth and became affiliated with Little League Baseball.
The Concession building was built in the Winter of 1991 by the Optimist Club with the majority of the work done by Tom Short, Bill Short, Denny Doggett and Johnny Varda.
In 1992 the Majors field lights were installed.
The Denton Williams and Blue Max Trucking hauled in 1000+ loads of dirt to help build the large Soccer field and the Babe Ruth Field in 1993
In 1994 the Optimist Club purchased 3 ½ acres from the Church next door, which gave us room to build the Minors and Softball fields. The park was now 19 ½ acres.
In 1995 and 1996 $125,000 of improvements were made including, ball field lights and irrigation systems. The lighting was installed almost single handedly by Phil Summey
In 1997 the Optimist Club and WCWAA undertook to clear and grade the back section of land to make a walking trail and picnic area and a large open multi-purpose field (Sella Field). The walking trail was dedicated on Sept. 27, 1997 in memory of long time Optimist Club Treasurer John Moga who passed away in September of the previous year.
But again the WCWAA was facing rapid growth. The influx of new people to this part of Union County, the growing popularity of soccer, the increased participation of girls in team sports were all factors. So another land search was undertaken. After looking at several area properties, the 34 acre parcel next to the park was purchased for $750,000 from local developer Bill Nolan in September 2001. The park was now 53 acres.
Ken Threatt 1982/1983
Earl Coe 1988
Jerry Davis 1989
Russ Newman 1990
Jimmy White 1991
Bruce Walters 1992
Denny Doggett 1993
Martha Hartley 1994-1995
Phil Summey 1996-1997
Russ Brasher 1998-2001
Jerry Hollifield 2001-2006
Gary Hibler 2006-Fall 2007
Dave Arone Fall 2007-