In life, Madison Small was best known for inspiring others. In death, her legacy continues to do the same.
On Oct. 8, the Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services dedicated the softball complex at Ashburn’s Trailside Park in Small’s honor. More than 300 friends, family members and teammates attended the ceremony memorializing the former Broad Run High School softball team co-captain.
The ceremony’s speakers said it was a way for the community to remember the encouragement and enthusiasm Small brought to softball and to life.
“I hope the Madison Small Softball Complex will continue to be a place of fun, family, learning, teamwork, competition, commodity and friendship as it had been to Madison and her family, and her spirit will continue to inspire others,” her father, Tim Small, said during the event.
Madison Small passed away suddenly in spring 2015 from a bacterial meningitis infection. In March 2016, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution honoring her and renaming the Ashburn Girls Softball League annual scholarship in her memory.
Part of the resolution also officially renamed the two fields. Algonkian district supervisor Suzanne Volpe and Small family friend Tommy Moorcones began working with PRCS director Steve Torpy on renaming a field. After initially proposing Potomac Lakes Sports Complex, they decided on the fields at Trailside Park, one of many fields Small played on as a member of the AGSL.
“Long after we’re out of office, it won’t be some of these other things we’ve done that we’ve been proud of. We’ll be proud of being a part of today,” Volpe said.
Ashburn district supervisor Ralph Buona said the dedication ceremony Saturday morning was a celebration of Small’s life. The field will remain as an eternal testament to her legacy.
“All you have you have to do is look at the flowers, the rocks and this will be here forever,” Buona said.
“Madison will be enshrined in this park today, and I think she’s looking down at us right now. I think she’s saying ‘Good job, Loudoun County. Good job Mom, Dad. We love you’.”
Suzanne Gobstein, Small’s co-captain on the Broad Run softball team, was one of dozens of former and current softball players at the ceremony. She told stories about Small’s dedication to the sport, including how she skipped prom for a game, had a rib removed to continue playing and never missed a preseason work out.
“If there was one girl who could embody the meaning of a softball player, it was Madison,” Gobstein said. “She was strong on and off the field.”