Local sluggers needing a boost to make tournament
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor
CALERA — The Calera 12u Softball All-Stars team has been on a roll lately, to say the least.
After a shaky start in pre-area competition, the 12u offense came alive. The team took a runner-up finish at the USSSA area tournament June 20-22, which guaranteed the team a position at the USSSA Alabama State Tournament. Once again, the Calera 12u squad rose to the occasion, finishing fourth and securing a spot in the World Series tournament, held in Gulf Shores July 16-20.
“We’re excited,” head coach Adrian Robinson said. “We’ve got a great group of girls. It’s a very big deal. To be able to go down there and (play) in the top (tournament), we’re all looking forward to it.”
The success comes at a price — literally. The team’s bats have out swung its competition and possibly its budget.
The 12u All-Stars are a city league-based team, which means that unlike some all-star or travel teams, they have no private sponsors or funding. Everything comes out of pocket from the parents and families of the players, and travel expenses for the trip are far from cheap, Robinson said.
After crunching the numbers, Robinson said that for 10 rooms for the players and their families the “cheapest we found was $3,000 (and) we haven’t even started talking about food.”
After some discussion, Robinson said his and other families discussed the feasibility of going, and decided it was owed to the players to compete.
So, Robinson and the rest of the coaches are actively pursuing donations from businesses in the community to help the team out.
“(In) summertime, hotels the in Gulf Shores are expensive,” he said. “The city can’t really donate, so we’re trying to raise money to get down there.”
Robinson said the team was already receiving a positive response in its effort to raise the $5,000 needed to make the trip.
One of the businesses gave $150,” he said. “That was our first donation. (We’ve) got about two weeks (to raise the rest).”
For more information, contact Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.