Softball team to take trip down South

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Softball team to take trip down South

Mariah Howland

Taking rips in preparation for Myrtle Beach

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The Johnson State womens softball team will be traveling to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from Mar. 8-12. Coach Robert Gervais and his team made a similar trip last season.

Each softball team competing within the NAC conference must fulfill a minimum requirement of 25 games played. With the large level of snow accumulation and unexpected early spring snowstorms, Johnson’s softball team jeopardizes their season by trying to fulfill their preset schedule.

With less than 25 games played in a season the team could be penalized with a disqualification from any playoff bid and a possible sanction from the NAC officials. A sanction would result in a team being unable to compete in playoffs for “x” amount of years or a ban on the sport for “x” amount of years.

Therefore, Coach Gervais and his team are making their second annual trip down South to compete in a tournament in Myrtle Beach. The team will play three double-header (back-to-back) games. They’ll get in plenty of practice time and soak up plenty of sun rays.

The trip’s main purpose is to accommodate extra game play so that the team can fulfill the 25 game schedule before playoffs. The competition down south is competitive, said Gervais, and the time spent playing outside in great weather gets the girls amped up for the season.

There’s also more to the trip than meets the eye. Aside from getting outside and playing in ideal weather, the team is able to experience the company of their teammates and get the opportunity to learn about each other.

Coach Gervais looks at his team as if it was a family, and he appreciates and values quality family time. The atmosphere is great, says Gervais, and by the sound of it, the girls seem pretty excited to take a mini vacation.

“Last year a couple of our girls got sunburnt on the first day and had to deal with it the rest of the trip,” Coach Jarvis said.

The fundraising for the trip was difficult and is still ongoing. The team hosted a Halloween dance and has asked around local shops. They’ll run a clinic for younger children in order to continue to make more money for the trip.

“The fundraising is the hardest part,” Coach Gervais said. “We started fundraising during fall ball. It’s very difficult.”

The team will be flying down to South Carolina. For each student athlete the trip will cost a bit under $500.

The games that they’ll play will be highly competitive, says Gervais. “We get to play in great weather, and it boosts the teams confidence,” he said.

Coach Gervais looks at his team’s trip in many lights, one being the advantage of recruiting.

More and more high school softball players are looking to Johnson’s softball program. The trip has become an added benefit to student athlete retention and admission.

Go Badgers.

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