Facing the Albia ‘Dirt Demons’ in the quarterfinals, Davenport entered the late stages trailing 3-2 after a two-run rally by the Monroe County squad. The Future Knights loaded the bases with two outs for Carlie Sammons, daughter of head coach John Sammons.
It was in that moment that Sammons created yet another magical moment by giving his player, a child, some great advice.
“Dad told me I was born for this moment,” Carlie Sammons said.
“I also told her just to have fun up there. I was proud of her no matter what happened,” John Sammons added.
Carlie delivered for her father and her teammates with a bases-clearing triple that proved to be the winning hit. Davenport Assumption parlayed the come-from-behind 5-3 win over Albia into an 11-1 win over the Johnston ‘Dragons’ and a 7-0 shutout against Oskaloosa’s ‘Sweet Heat’ in the 10U championship.
Sammons, whose daughter is one of the top players and whose father is one of the volunteer coaches on the team, talked about the magic of sharing this success with his family.
“I think that’s what youth sports really is all about,” Sammons said. “I can’t tell you what it means to see the smile on all the faces of the parents that made the trip all the way here to Ottumwa this weekend and get to share in this. All the fathers and mothers and daughters are getting to be a part of this together.”
For Greiner, whose own daughter Morgan led the Ottumwa 14U squad over the past weekend with eight hits and five RBI in the tournament, several families coming to town to enjoy the festivities is another key part the state youth softball tournament’s impact. With an eye on continuing to build on a youth sports in the city, and build on the facilities available to all youth activities, events like last weekend’s three full days of youth softball may help Ottumwa find the necessary funding to make those necessary improvements.