Bloggers note: This is the second offering from Adrian Duran, the coach of the Little Rascals T-ball team playing in its first year at the El Paso County Sportspark.
Today Julian Duran’s dad and coach takes a look at all the little girls who perfer a batting helmet to a tiara.
When we last checked in with the El Paso Little Rascals journey through its first T-ball season, it was early on in the season and the team was off to a 2-2 start.
Since then, the Little Rascals have played seven more games during which time they sandwiched 2 victories around 5 losses to bring their season mark to 4-7 just slightly past the midpoint of the season.
What was most notable to me during this string of games was the extreme level of competitiveness that the teams in the lowest age group of leagues at the Sportspark bring to the field.
In the first of the seven games, the Little Rascals faced off against the Lil' Aztecs in what has been the most competitive and exciting of games during the entire season. The outcome of the game came down to the last batter and both teams played so well that neither deserved to go home with a loss. The final score was 22-21 with a narrow victory going to the Little Rascals, yet that seemed to matter the least to the players as they shook hands after a well-played ballgame.
The Little Rascals ended up on the short end of the stick the next five games playing against the Braves, Wolfpack, Blaze, Rockies and Monsters; a juggernaut of teams with a combined record of 32-3 to start out the season. Those 5 teams were battle tested and it was clearly evident that they are all battling for the top spot in the league at the end of the season.
While the outcome of each of those games was never in doubt, there were still many exciting moments that offered valuable teaching lessons for our kids.
The most intriguing of the games to end this slate was the most recent one against the Baby Bulldogs; a team made up entirely of 4 and 5 year old girls. The Baby Bulldogs were very competitive and they put up a stiff challenge.
In the end the Little Rascals scratched out a victory, with the highlight of the game being a homerun by Easton Gouldthorpe, a first for any Little Rascal player that brought the fans to their feet!
More importantly though, the game provided an opportunity to appreciate the importance and valuable contributions that the little girls in the league play.
While there are a few teams that are made up entirely of boys, most of the teams have at least 1 or 2 girls that participate.
The Little Rascals have 4 girls — Gillian Brown, Bella Hernandez, Audrey Najera and Charlee Gomez — who are all integral and key parts of our team.
Here is Gillian, rockin' the black and pink glove and ready to play!
With teams like the Baby Bulldogs being a remarkable and noteworthy exception, these girls will share the field with the boys for several more years to come. At this age, the girls are equally as competitive as the boys and some have proven to be the stars of their teams in their own right as well.
As far as our girls are concerned, they have all made great strides and have been instrumental in helping to make this a successful inaugural season for the Little Rascals.
Some parents might be hesitant to allow their daughters to join in the fun with the boys, but I encourage anyone with doubts to allow their daughters the opportunity to participate, as it is a decision that they will not regret.
These are special moments for the girls before some of them decide to take the diamond as part of a girl’s fast-pitch softball team. Still others may decide to use the foundation they have built on the diamond to go into other activities such as cheerleading, dance, volleyball, soccer or other sports
As the great poet Robert Frost once wrote in The Road Not Taken — “…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference ...”
For Gillian, Bella, Audrey and Charlee, their parents made the decision to Take the Road Less Traveled and allow their daughters to join the boys.
For that, I am thankful, as it has been my great pleasure and privilege to have the opportunity to coach the outstanding girls that are part of our TEAM; and to help set the same foundation for them that we are also setting for our boys.
In the end, it is this foundation that they will all use as a springboard to bigger and better things to come!