De Smet’s boys baseball and girls softball teams wrapped up their summer seasons this month, and the coaches for the various teams had a lot of good things to say about their players’ attitudes and performance.
On the baseball side, the 12-and-under (12u) boys team played their hearts out all summer. Head coach Jim Millman described this year’s team as “the most coachable” he’s ever had.
“I’m proud of how much they improved this year and really enjoyed coaching this team,” said Millman.
He also wanted to recognize Ryan Eichler and Wes Clubb for helping to coach when needed.
Mike Tordoff, head coach of the 10u boys team, said they started out with 20 players, which was great to see so many boys wanting to learn and play the game. However, it did create a bit of a challenge finding playing time for everyone. With the help of assistants Matt Kees and Chris St. Sauver, they were able to find a rotation that worked well.
Tordoff said that the season was defined by outstanding pitching and defense. They advanced to the league championship after defeating Arlington and Lake Norden in the tournament but fell to Clark in the final game. They also had a tough draw in pool play at the VFW State Tourney and lost two close, low-scoring games to Canova and Britton, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. They played a great game to defeat Webster but fell short of advancing to the championship bracket.
Aaron Grubb was head coach for both the 8u and 6u teams. He said that the 8u team fought hard and played great all season long. In Hayti, they won two games, lost none and had one tie. They also competed at state in July, where they played well but did not win any games.
Most of the team will be returning next year, so Grubb is hopeful that they can build off this year's experience. The 8u team was also coached by Anthony Halverson and Ryan Ransom.
Grubb said that the 6u team played hard and learned a lot about the game of baseball. He has high hopes for that team next year as well. The 6u team also was coached by Casey Harty.
The girls had 40 softball players from ages 5-13, and they were on teams for T-ball, 8u, 10u, 12u and 14u. Their season began on April 27 and lasted until July 19.
There weren’t enough 14u players in De Smet to field a whole team, so four local girls joined up with a team in Huron, where they got some valuable playing time and experience in various positions around the diamond. These girls were Charlotte Fields, Sofia Gigov, Erica Johnson and Charli McCune.
The other teams in De Smet were coached by Harvey Hubbard and Dawn Whitten, playing teams from Arlington, Lake Preston, Willow Lake and Lake Norden.
Hubbard said that he was very impressed with the girls’ play and positive attitudes this season, and that they “worked their tails off.” They had practices on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday evenings, and the 12u and 14u girls had weekly double-headers on Tuesday nights in Huron.
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