OTTUMWA – Three days. Seventy-eight games. Twenty-four total hours of youth softball action played on five different diamonds.
To say it was a labor of love putting on the USSSA Eastern Iowa State Youth Softball Tournament was an understatement.
So if you’re going to put in that kind of time, energy and hard work into hosting the tournament, you might as well end things with a championship. Tournament director Robert Greiner got to experience the final satisfactions of both the completion of a busy three days for Ottumwa youth softball competing and hosting tournament action.
Greiner, the tournament director, got to enjoy giving away the final team championship the most last Sunday at the Ottumwa slow pitch softball field. That because Greiner, the head coach, gave the championship trophy to his 14U ‘Bulldogs’ after beating the Baxter ‘Firecrackers.’
The 9-3 triumph was the culmination to an exciting tournament, which included an exciting day of bracket play action. In the end, the spirit of the event was on full display as both the Bulldogs and Firecrackers joined together at home plate for a group picture at home plate in a great show of camaraderie.
“One thing you’ll find out about youth activities is, sure the parents will get into the games, but the teams always get along with each other,” Greiner said. “There’s a lot of great teamwork, there’s never any arguing among the players out on the field and at the end of the game we had 11 girls and they had 11 girls and they wanted to come together to commemorate the moment.”
“It’s a great example of why, if you have a son or a daughter, that getting them involved in youth sports is good thing and it’s something the community needs to get behind.”