High school softball field named after former coach
The Wareham High School softball field joined the ranks thoughtfully-named sports venues on Thursday night.
During the School Committee’s Jan. 6 meeting, the board voted unanimously to name the field in honor of the late Lance E. Howlett, who worked for the school district for 31 years — many of those as a softball coach.
Wareham High School Senior Andre Silvia and Megan Kashner, a former athlete who was a colleague of Howlett’s and who now coaches at the high school, wrote a letter to the district to request the softball field be named in Howlett’s honor.
“If you grew up in Wareham like I did, you knew Lance by his first name — much like Prince,” Kashner said during the meeting, earning a laugh from the board and meeting attendees. “I met him when I was 9 years old on the softball field and he coached me until I was a senior in high school in softball.”
Kashner explained that Howlett recently passed away after a “long battle with cancer.”
“When that happened, it hit anybody who knew Lance really hard,” she said.
Kashner explained that she’d been a catcher on the softball team and Sheila, Andre’s mom, was her pitcher. For that reason, and because they were neighbors, Andre and Lance Howlett were close.
“Andre was actually one of the first people I thought of when I heard that Lance had passed,” Kashner recalled.
She said she found Andre the next day, and he brought up the idea of naming the field in Lance Howlett’s honor. Instantly, Kashner said she knew it was a great idea.
“Absolutely we should name the softball field after Lance Howlett, because it’s synonymous with softball in Wareham from the late 80s to the early 2000s,” she explained. “It was his field. He was always there.”
Principal Scott Palladino said he immediately thought the idea made “so much sense,” and he noted that the softball field was the only field lacking a name.
“Lance was like a grandfather to Andre,” Palladino said. “Lance would, up until his death, call me every couple weeks to check on Andre.”
Andre noted that Howlett even had a specific claim to fame.
“He brought the fastpitch in softball to Wareham,” he explained. “Everybody would come to him from around the state to learn his methods and the way he taught pitching.”