We love our DC Fray sports leagues, so we’re highlighting players in our series Player’s Club. This edition features DC Fray superstar Vin Testa. Click here to learn more about our leagues.
Vin started his kickball career in the spring of 2016 with Stonewall Kickball. That summer, at the invitation of some Stonewall teammates, he joined the Fray Thursday league at Stead Park. By then, he knew he’d found his new thing. Read on to learn more about Vin’s experience with DC Fray.
District Fray: What’s your team’s energy like?
Vin Testa: My current team, the Steeds of Stead (Park), has been playing in various iterations since the summer of 2016. I think it’s our 16th season right now. Our energy has always been about having fun. I’ve always prided myself, as a captain, on welcoming new people onto the team, especially if they’ve never played kickball before or they are looking to get better. We always want to win, but walking away from a hard-fought loss can be just as rewarding sometimes.
What do you do after a game?
These days, I’m a bit of an old man and tend to go home after my games. However, every now and then, I like to go out to Number Nine after our games for a beverage. Or several.
Do you hang out with your team outside of Fray?
Most of us still play in the Stonewall league on Sundays, so I usually see my team out at various points over the weekend, whether purposefully or coincidentally.
What’s one important piece of kickball strategy new players need to know?
Two things, one for offense and one for defense. When kicking, lean your body forward and point your toe. When your foot is flexed, that ball is going to pop right up into the air and make it easy to catch it. When fielding, the play isn’t over until the pitcher has the ball at the mound, so even if you couldn’t get the out, get that ball back to the pitcher and prevent any runners from advancing more than they should.
Do you know any interesting facts about the history of LGBTQ sports leagues? Why are they important?
From what I understand, formal LGBTQ kickball leagues started in D.C., and I’m fairly certain that was due to the efforts of Fray’s own president, Martin Espinoza. I’m not sure about other leagues, but their importance is quite clear. They provide a safe space for the community and its allies to enjoy athletics. So many LGBTQ-identifying people grew up in toxic environments, whether that be gym class or sports teams, where homophobic and transphobic language is ever-present. These leagues nix that toxicity and provide a fun-filled, carefree environment – depending on your competitiveness, of course – where people can identify, express, and live as their true selves.
What’s your peak kickball experience?
Oh, wow. This is a tough one. I can’t pick one, so I’ll sum it up as being a captain. I’ve captained three teams across Fray and Stonewall, and my greatest honor has been hearing from my teammates about the environment that I’ve created and that we’ve all built together. I will also say that getting two championships on Thursday and one on Sunday throughout the years has been pretty exciting, as well!
What else is going on in your life right now?
I’m currently a General Manager at one of the VIDA Fitness locations. No, I can’t get you a free or discounted membership. That takes a lot of work. But I love my job and that community, as well. Other than that, I’m taking it easy. Fall and winter are my seasons to sit at home, recharge, and maybe poke my head out and be social every now and then.
Neighborhood: Congress Heights. Favorite D.C. museum: National Museum of African American History and Culture. Stunning exhibits and beautiful celebrations of culture. Favorite D.C. restaurant: I’m biased because I used to work there, but it’s Buck’s Fishing & Camping on Connecticut Ave. Favorite bar: Tough one. I’m between Number Nine and Dirty Goose all the time. Best part of living in the DMV: Not needing a car, because that traffic is insane. Also, being in a city of over 700,000 people but still running into people on the street and feeling that small-town familiarity.
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