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Lehi softball icon retires after 45 years

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A former Lehi resident, Larry Colledge has decided to hang up his mask, shin guards and chest protector after 45 years as head of softball officials in Utah.

Colledge is part of a decades-old Lehi softball tradition. He is a member of the Colledge family that dominated ward, stake, and state softball during the heyday of local softball competition.The Colledge’s were members of the old Lehi Third Ward.

Colledge reminisced about his grandfather, Lester College. “Hepitched fastball softball when the sport was in its infancy. Grandpa Lester would come directly from work at Geneva Steel and pitch a game wearing his work boots, a baseball cap sideways on his head and didn’t use a mitt.”

The old Third Ward softball team dominated the competition formany years. They were the Lehi Stake Champions for 19 consecutive years when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held an all-church competition during the 50s, 60s, and ’70s. The Third Ward Junior team took second place in theannual Salt Lake City tournament. This win was a significant accomplishment because teams from all over the nation competed.

Colledge remembers Larry H. Miller’s softball team, Miller Toyota. This team was consistently rated near the top nationally in fast-pitch softball. Larry Miller was an acclaimed softball enthusiast who recruited one of the premier softball pitchers, Pete Meredith, to pitch for his team. College laughed, “I was umping a game pitched by Meredith and got hit by Meredith. Yeah, it hurt!”

Colledge has been the head of softball officials for high school play for nearly 40 years and the head official in 15 national fastpitch softball tournaments. He has worked with the UHSSA for 20 years and was a USA umpire and chief for nine years.

Always efficient and accommodating, Colledge enjoyed associating with the many players and coaches nationwide. Old-timers like Lehi’s Marlin Barnes will miss him. “Larry was a good friend, a dedicated umpire, and was instrumental in promoting the game of fastpitch softball for many, many years,” Barnes said. Many others in the fastpitch softball community echo the sentiment.

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Colledge owned and operated Southcut, a cement-cuttingbusiness, before retiring.

He has been married for 57 years. His wife, Dorene, would often accompany him to tournaments. They have four children, 13 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

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