Sports

Westville has long been directly interested in youth programs. Athletic team for all ages and both sexes have put Westville on the map because of their accomplishments.

Records show that there was an athletic Association in Westville as early as 1909. The Westville Athletic Association was organized by business men and farmers. Joseph Kirk was president and Ned Davis was manager.

About 1912 or 1913, baseball in Westville was ruled by the Westville Country Club Team, Judge Jenrickson, manager. Some boys who wanted to play but weren’t good enough for the big team decided to form another team. They named it the South End Team. Their manager was John Hinkle.

The Westville Country Club Team played on a field just west of the railroad at the end of Pine Street. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was in the farthest right field. The new team located its field in South Westville where the Middle Atlantic Lumber Company is located. They had to clear the woods to build their field.

Old timers report that during the 1914 and 1915 season, the South End boys played many of the same teams as the Country Club Team and played equally as well. Both teams won a majority of their games. at the end of the season, the Country Club Team agreed to play a series with the South End Team. The first game was called on account of darkness in the eleventh inning with a tied score. However, he South End Team won: 3 games to 2.

South End Country Club

  • J. Ryan – Catcher
  • P. Wasserat – Catcher
  • B. Watson – Pitcher
  • G. Walters – 3rd Base
  • J. Lang – 3rd Base
  • C. Barker – 1st Base
  • H. Cooper – 1st Base
  • W. Harris – Center Field
  • J. Hinkle – 2nd Base
  • S. Waddel – Center Field
  • D. Harper – Shortstop
  • A. Falls – Pitcher
  • R. Anderson – Left Field
  • F. Devlin – 2nd Base
  • B. Halschield – Left Field
  • T. Batten – Left Field
  • C. Leaf – Right Field
  • J. McNulty – Shortstop
  • P. Lloyd – Right Field
  • C. Corson – Right Field
  • C. Halschield – Center Field

The Westville Country Club Team continued to play good ball, playing the top teams in the area until about 1918 or 1919. The Jackson Field Club was then formed. It played behind the Jackson Hotel (formerly Old Buck Tavern).

The next year, the team changed its name to Westville AC and joined the Gloucester Country League with teams from Woodbury, Paulsboro, Gibbstown, Bridgetown and Swedesboro. This team was managed by John Ryan and had the following members: E. Dickenson, E. Scheidhauer, E. Hamill, J. Lang, D. Harper, J. Jordon, J. Ryan, L. Fortiner, and H. Lloyd.

In 1927, Westville Blue Birds were struggling for the Gloucester Country League title. Westville swamped Woodbury Club made history in the country league. They played 68 games an won 57 of them. The regular batting order was Dutch Diedrick, second base; Charlie Tomasso, shortstop; Russ Nixon, first base; Earl Mass, center field ; Les Dopson, right field; Shorty Thompson, left field; Joe Van Hest, third base; Herb Hoell, catcher; and Bud Schrnagel, Al McKee and Roger Kean.

They also became champions in the Bi-County and Camden County Leagues.

Interest in baseball has never waned in Westville. After War II, the American Legion had a great team which also was a championship team.

Finally, in 1952, the adults recognized the need for organized teams for the youth. Westville Little League was organized in 1952. The first president was Leslie Lambert. First League members included Bill Kapus, Bill Bilger, Ed Hatton, and Ed Harker. The first playing field was in the site of the present Parkview School.

In 1953, due to the construction of the new school, headquarters were to move to Kilinger Avenue, formerly the old Sparks’ Farm.

Much progress has been made since then. Westville has Little League, Babe Ruth League, and Senior League teams plus girls softball league. Along with baseball and softball, Westville also has an excellent Midget Football program and cheerleader program, under the leadership of Herb Neilio. In recent years, a wrestling program has been organized. Sine the construction of the Parkview addition, boys and girls basketball leagues have also come into existence. Gateway Regional High School has benefited from the fine athletes who have received their training on home teams.

The newest league is the Westville soccer league formed in 1976. Both boys and girls play in this league.