In honor of the 25th anniversary of the creation of a softball program at Houston High School, former members of all ages hit the field for a fundraising alumni game filled with humor and good-natured ribbing.
Prior to and during the game, the memories flowed from the original team members.
“That bus broke down every time,” said Nicole Doss.
“I’ll never forget when it broke down at Sonic in Aberdeen,” said Jennifer Young Kilgore. “We sat there for four hours – in Aberdeen – we could have walked home.”
Former coach, Glen Chisolm, reprised his role leading the team, but from a different venue this time around.
“Go show your stuff,” Chisolm said. “I’m going to my chair to sit now.”
In the top of the first inning, the “young girls” went through the batting order three times, racking up 16 runs and inspiring some new rules to be made.
John Gravat served as pitcher for both teams and also played defense for the “seasoned players”, getting the final out on a pop up and sending the more experienced ladies to the plate.
Leslie Gann McMullen started off with a double, sparking enthusiam from the dugout.
“We’re gonna win now,” cheered Heather Parks Boyer.
After allowing for six outs, the more mature team had cut the lead to 3-16 at the end of the first.
“We came back,” smiled Kathy Smith. “It wasn’t that bad at the end.”
Playing for a good cause
In the midst of the laughter and jokes lay a good reason for all the fun.
Ten of the original team members and several more from later classes joined in to help raise funds for the booster club and softball program. The program receives a budget from the school district, but boosters contribute to equipment expenses, field repairs and anything else that crops up during the year.
“It takes a lot,” said McMullen. “And we go up against a lot of teams who have a lot more (resources) than we do. With two championships, we need to step up and support the program.”
And enjoy some first-class entertainment on the field along the way.