CARLSBAD — At the last Carlsbad City Council meeting, the girls’ softball team, Carlsbad C-Dawgz, stopped by to share some exciting news: The C-Dawgz made Carlsbad history by being the first official team to compete in the American Softball National Tournament.
Forty-three teams vied for a top spot at the Western National Championship Tournament and the C-Dawgz, a ten year old and under team, snagged thirteenth place.
The tournament was held in August at the Buchanan Sports Complex in Clovis, Calif. Although the majority of the teams were from California, others players came from Oregon and Nevada.
C-Dawgz team parent, Allyson Sammons, is still reeling from the excitement of it all. She described it as a very emotional experience.
“To see the girls out there, achieving what they achieved, I’m just so proud of them,” Sammons said. “They did unbelievably well and we were just so happy to be there.”
Sammons said she hopes one day, when the girls grow older, they realize what a special experience it was and what it meant for them to make it to the championships.
And getting to the Western National Championship Tournament was no small feat. Having the support of local businesses, Carlsbad High School, and enthusiastic fans meant a great deal to the team during their journey.
Since May, this All Star team dedicated themselves to weekly practices two times a week and weekend tournaments.
In July, at the All Star State Championship in Lancaster, the girls played in temperatures that reached more than 100 degrees.
As a team parent, Sammons made sure there were cold drinks, ice cold wash clothes and neck coolers on hand in the dugout. “It was a job in itself trying to keep the girls from melting into a puddle,” she said.
Sammons’ daughter, Corinne, plays a few positions on the team including pitcher.
“One thing that must be brought to the forefront is the dedication and hours of field time spent by their coaches,” she said. “Even with the innate talent these girls possess, without the proper coaching and guidance they simply would not be able to do what they did.”
Sammons pointed out the great work that Head Coach James McDonald, Manager Chad Hensch, and Assistant Coaches Brandy Boka, Rolf Sammons, Ryan Headlee and Alan Brown accomplished for the team. They created mini pro ball players at bat, catching a fly and line drive, throwing a serious fast pitch, and much more.
“The girls have their game faces on when they’re playing, but as soon as the game is over, they’re giddy, happy and friends with everybody,” she said. “We’re all just ball players who like to have a good time and we’re one big extended family.”
And above all, the girls play because they want to.
Team members of the C-Dawgz are Briget Boka, Jennah Brown, Hannah Brown, Randie Bueno, Grayson Emery, Peyton Headlee, Marisa Hensch, Gena Kulberg, Gabrielle Larsen, Victoria McDonald, Corinne Sammons, Jordey Smith, and Silje Vigeland.
Sammons invites everyone to come out and watch a game.
“There’s no bad day at the ballpark,” she said. For more information on the Carlsbad Softball Organization, upcoming games and registration, visit carlsbadsoftball.org.