In the summer of COVID-19, the Tomah community still came together to give local girls a competitive softball season.
Teams representing four age levels competed in Tomah Stix summer softball after COVID-19 wiped out the high school and middle school seasons. Tomah High School softball coach Dan Wall said it was important for the girls to have a softball experience in 2020.
“Kids stayed safe and were able to get outside and participate in something to keep them active and engaged,” Wall said. “The summer was a success.”
Wall said the process started last spring via a Zoom meeting between the 10u, 12u and 14u Tomah Stix coaches. He said multiple scenarios were discussed and plans made to allow kids to stay safe and socially distance during the season.
Girls who didn’t have their own equipment were issued those items so that they did not need to be shared for practices or games.
“There was a lot of planning to get the season going and hard work from all levels,” Wall said.
The 10u team was headed by Dustin Powell. With the help of several other parents, practices were held once a week, and in-house games were played each week from late June through July.
The 12u was coached by Hayden Eckelberg, Todd Chapman and Emily Wall. There were 12 girls who had been selected for a tournament team as well as players who practiced with this group that did not travel. The group had the opportunity to play a Black River Falls-based team for two doubleheaders, and the tournament-level group also played at The Badger State Classic in the end of July, as well as a tournament in Adams Friendship the first weekend in August.
The 14u head coaches were Dan Wall and Brady Mathison. This group was able to participate in tournaments in Mondovi, Badger State Classic and Adams Friendship and also hosted Black River and Reedsburg on a Saturday. This group also played doubleheaders Wednesday nights at the D.C. Dade Softball Complex at LaGrange Elementary School in games against the younger players from the high school level. In July, Wall took four players from the 14u level to join several high school players in Wautoma at a high school tournament
The older high school level was able to play Wednesday nights at LaGrange’s Gerke Field for three Wednesdays in July against a Scenic Bluffs team. Coaches Brad Plueger, Dan Shamhart, Paul Whaley and Bob Van Treese led the team, which also played in Badger State Classic, and the Adams-Friendship Tournament.
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