Have our softball champs been forgotten?
You might think that eleven 15- and 16-year-old high school students have more on their mind than playing softball, which included daily practice, traveling time and occurs during summer vacation.
Little League, an all-American sport, can be time consuming and somewhat costly. Nevertheless, families of these young ladies dedicated time (and some vacation) to their daughters, sisters, nieces, granddaughters and dear friends allowing them to play.
A majority of the girls were born in Barstow and love their community. When making the Little League Senior Division playoffs, they were thrilled. When winning Southern California Divisional, they were ecstatic. They traveled to Montana in hopes to gain a spot to play the Little League World Series; literally having only enough time to pack and attempt to prepare an itinerary. This had not occurred in our sleepy town for over 20 years. A lot of Barstow residents (out-of-town friends and family) kept up with each game the girls played in Montana. Those of us who were not able to go received text messages, phone calls and updates via Internet; I think we were as excited for our team as they were being there!
Before heading to Montana, a local radio station, KDUC, invited the girls to be on air, they were introduced and encouraged listeners to meet and greet the girls that evening at a local center hoping to raise additional monies needed to pay for the trip. While in Montana, KDUC called live to congratulate their job well done!
As the week passed, Barstow team did exceptional! Barstow beat Northern California giving them the California State Champs title. They played until the final tie breaking game was won by Montana. They got back on the bus and made their way home.
When arriving in Barstow, they were met by a police escort, greeted by the fire department, about 200 family members, friends, supporters and Mayor Joe Gomez; each girl said they felt like a superstar!
The mayor, along with others, welcomed the girls and families, praising their hard work and commending them on representing the city that they love. They spoke of having a celebration, a parade and the team picture displayed on the water tower on the I-15 to honor the team's success and winning the 2011 California State Champions.
It all sounded exciting for them.
So far there was one invitation from Barstow First Baptist Church congratulating their success, which was a lovely event. All the girls attended and were truly appreciative.
The annual Mardi Gras parade has come and gone, many of us were looking forward to see the team together again receiving a deserving tribute.
They were not in the parade on Saturday; as a matter of fact they were not invited or mentioned. I wonder if this accomplishment has been forgotten. I hope this is not true, each young woman including their families need to know what a great job they did! Good Work!
Thanks to coaches, managers, particularly their parents for raising such an awesome team of ladies!
Rebecca Garcia-Griego, Barstow