This is one of the better tournaments I have ever attended in one of the best softball complexes I have ever seen, Freedom Park Valdosta, Georgia. This is a eight field complex and it is just beautiful. There were 76 teams entered in all the divisions, which were Open, Class B, Class C & Class D. I enjoyed watching the lower classes play for a change. I did watch a little of the Open Class but I really did want to see the B,C & D teams play. There were some great games played by some very good teams. Here is how it went; the Class B winner was T&R Stucco/Worth out of Polk County, Fla.. This is a very good B team who could very well win a couple of championships this season. T&R was led by MVP Mike Pratt. Mike hit it very good all weekend long and made some great defensive plays. JC Battista, who filled in for T&R this weekend was a big factor also, as he hit it and played his usual good defense. This was really a total team effort in their win. I expect to see T&R win a couple of more tournaments before playing in the Nationals. Good Luck T&R Stucco/Worth. Second place went to another very good B team, All Star/Mizuno who played very well all weekend. Other B teams who played well were the Georgia Hitmen, Herring Plumbing, Prebble Rich, Cherokee Banks & a team called Langdale Builders who looks like it has some very good softball players. The Class C winner went to Uniflora/Nike, a real nice C team who played some very nice softball this weekend. Uniflora was led by MVP Kevin Hamilton who just hit the daylights out of it and played good defense in this tournament. This C Division was a very competitive tournament with some really good softball teams. Second place went to another very good C team South East Carriers. This bunch scraped all weekend to get the second spot. Other good C teams who gave a very good showing were Taco Mac, Team Horsemen, Acti-Flex, Kent, SGM Wigpoppers, Russell Paint/Mizuno & Yard Dawgs. The Class D Division was another competitive bunch who battled all weekend long. The winner was a team called TCS out of Douglas, Georgia who had to win the “if” game to claim the Championship. This ball club was led by two brothers who were named Co- MVP’s, Adam & Ben Vickers. They both hit it and caught it for TCS. Finishing in second place was another very good D team, Brew Dawgs who gave TCS all they wanted in this battle. I watched the “if” game and it was a dandy. A good job by all the Class B,C & D teams. I really enjoyed watching your teams play this weekend. The Open Division was won by a very good pick-up team called Southern Pride. Most of the players were from the F! la., Georgia area and some from other places. MVP was Chris Chambliss who smacked 35 homeruns and only made about 5 outs in over 50 ab’s. Brian Henderson hit 29 homeruns. this was also a total team effort from everybody in their win. K&G Sports/Phonemasters/TPS went undefeated in five games but had to leave to catch their flights early Sunday made by changes from Delta Airlines. Hudson’s/Taco Mac team played very good this weekend and also C&M Sporting Goods/Tommy Currid/Worth, Team Action. O&S/Easton also played extremely well for coming out of the north for their first tournament of the season. They will be a good team down the road. Big League Softball team played good for a few games, but ran out of gas. They had Jeff Hall, Brett Helmer, Greg Harding, John McCraw, Scott Brown, Gino Burdick and other good players. Nellie’s All Stars played extremely well but didn’t get all the good calls and didn’t drink enough, ha! Smoka Red, I apologize for not getting over to the tent because it was too much work keeping up with all of it. K&G will be in the hunt in any tournament they play in. They are a very good team. They have some very tough outs in their lineup and can catch it, believe me. I like to get Carl going and some of the players, but this team is for real make no mistake about it.
I would like to take the time to say what a great place for these teams to play. Freedom Park is without a doubt one of the best parks in the country. I can’t say enough about what kind of a man Jason Kendrick is. He is a First Class guy who really cares about the game of softball, but most importantly about people. He is a great family man and that means a lot to me. His wife Missy is truly a very nice woman who has the same good qualities as Jason and who is also all about family.
Thank You very much Jason, Missy & Nate and all the tournament staff for their hospitality shown this past weekend to my wife Joan and myself. We really enjoyed being there.