They take hard work, commitment and sacrifices, which are three things a lot of people have, can’t quite seem to give.
Last weekend, the 7-8 year-old Lady Jackets, an All-Star team from the Calhoun Recreation Department, not only won a state title, but in doing actually secured their second straight state crown.
The team, which was picked after the rec department season came to an end in May, traveled to Cordele for the GRPA Flea Girls 7/8 Class A/B Championship Softball Tournament last weekend. After losing their second game of the tourney, the Lady Jackets battled back out of the loser’s bracket to win the championship.
The team faced Dublin in the finals, winning the first game, 13-4 and the second game, 12-4. Dublin was undefeated coming into the tournament.
“Looking back on the tournament, we really only had two bad innings, and one of those was in our 9-8 loss in our second game down there,” said head coach Michael Davis. “It was great to be able to come back through the loser’s bracket, and we actually had to win three games on Saturday for the title.”
Davis was assisted Jeff Davis, Jamey Kirby, Scott Thornton Stacy Banks and Greg Bowman. The team consisted of 7 and 8 year old girls. Four of the players from the team this year were also on the state championship team last season. Those girls were Molly Banks, Lindsay Bowman, Lyndi Rae Davis and Kylee Thornton.
Other team members on this year’s championship squad included McKinsey Ingle, Malysha Winston, Esperanza Reyes, Sydney Wright, Paris Kirby, Ashley Kelly, Callie Edens and Lily West.
“It was awesome for the girls,” said Davis. “Some people never get a chance at a championship so it was a lot of fun to see them win it. For them as seven and eight year olds it’s just the same as Calhoun beating Buford.”
Davis said the tough competition the team played before the state tourney and the team chemistry gained from traveling together got them ready for another title run.
“After we picked the team in May, we played in a lot of travel team tournaments to get us ready for district and state,” said Davis. “For the girls, they were excited to get to go on the trips and stay in the hotels together.”
Davis said a big thanks for the team’s success has to go out to Kim Townsend at the Calhoun Rec Department, who has been “unbelievable to work with” according to Davis as well as Brent Stepp, who let the team hit in his batting cages when needed.