“If you build it, they will come”. While Kevin Costner may have had those words whispered to him in an Iowa cornfield in a fictional Hollywood movie, it was local Berks County business owner Anthony Marsalo who turned those same words into a reality in Morgantown.
Marsalo, the founder and president of the PA Strikers fast-pitch softball organization, grew frustrated every winter searching for local gyms and rented space to use for his players to practice and stay in softball shape during the off-season.
After all, harsh Pennsylvania winters hardly make it easy for local college-focused softball players to compete with their counterparts from warm-weather states.
Marsalo’s organization was also growing at a rapid pace. He knew that adding three new teams to the organization in just one year would make it even more difficult to find enough space for all the players to get their share of much needed, off-season practice time.
Marsalo eventually had enough and turned his frustration into determination. His determination of course, was to build a state-of-the art, indoor training facility that would become the home practice field for his PA Strikers and other local teams during the off season, winter months and even just stormy spring and summer nights. After months of persistence, planning and searching for the right space; the determination was no longer just a vision.
The New Morgan Borough saw great value in Marsalo’s proposal to build an indoor softball training facility in Morgantown,- and, in the spring of 2013, the Borough offered the PA Strikers organization access to over 4,000-square feet of unused warehouse space, located in a corporate center right off of Routes 10 and 176 in Morgantown. The Borough also gave their full backing for the softball organization to construct what was dubbed as their “indoor field of dreams” - and construct it they sure did.
With the help of many, including blue prints from On Deck Sports, the state-of-the-art “PA Striker Academy and Softball Training Facility” was revealed to the public on Saturday, October 26th, 2013. The grand-opening celebration included door prizes, silent auction baskets, plenty of visitors, and a four-hour “Zumba-thon” led by 16U PA Striker Coach Donna Liptock. The facility is showcased with over 4000-square feet of quality indoor turf, 3-4 hitting cages, 4 pitching lanes, movable nets, training and agility equipment, and a parent/guardian lounge area.
Like all of the PA Striker coaches, Bret Horace is excited that his 12U team is reaping the benefits of having access to what he calls the “perfect indoor practice facility”. “It’s been amazing from day one and is making a big difference for our players”, said Horace. “There is really nothing like it in the area and for teams practicing at the indoor Striker facility, the cost is truly priceless”.
Others apparently see it that way too. Since its grand opening in October, the indoor facility has been booked by several teams and organizations for practices, clinics and winter work out sessions. Offering facility access to all interested local teams and players was always part of Marsalo’s vision. “If you build it, they will come” is now a reality in Berks County and no longer just a famous Hollywood movie line. And, for the teams and players who want more, that’s something to smile about.
The PA Striker Academy is located at 75 Grace Boulevard, Morgantown. For additional information about the facility or for details regarding renting the space for training, please contact Tony Marsalo at (610)207-5195 or firstname.lastname@example.org.