This past week has been a memorable one for me. I witnessed some amazing softball games played, along with working my way into some unique press boxes. Haley Wollschlager and Rylee Sawatzky of LQPV, Mary Bothun of Dawson/Boyd and Brooklyn Nelson and Sydney Larson of the Minneota/Canby Vikings all pitched amazing this past week. I did however miss Haley’s 19 strikeouts vs KMS on Tuesday. I had a parent texting me about Haley’s amazing strikeouts and I think I stared at my phone for 5 minutes in awe.
Monday I was at LQPV to broadcast the Eagles and Dawson/Boyd Blackjacks softball games. Janet Larson the head coach for the Eagles and John Nevins coach of the Blackjacks always make time for me before the game. I enjoy visiting with them. Watching LQPV’s Haley Wollschlager and the Blackjacks Mary Bothun pitch game one was absolutely amazing. They each struck out 13 batters and the Eagles won 1-0.
The press box at the LQPV softball is two levels, the concession stands below and the press box above. The way to get up to the press box is to climb a wooden ladder that is nailed to the wall inside the concessions stand. When it was first built it was always a major challenge for me to climb that ladder and get my body through the very small opening. Last year the carpentry class made the opening much bigger and put the ladder at a slant with more steps that were closer together. It is a huge improvement. I have no trouble getting up in the press box. Tony Smith and Scott Sawatzky operated the score board and put the headset on to help me broadcast the games. They both did an excellent job and it was fun working with them.
Tuesday I was in Dawson, as the Blackjacks hosted the Minneota/Canby softball team. Once again Mary Bothun pitched a great game striking out 12 Vikings and again losing 1 to 0. I felt so bad for her. Brooklyn Nelson threw a great game for Minneota/Canby. The softball press box in Dawson is unique and old. The building is used as an equipment room and concessions stand, along with bathrooms, that is the lower level. The upper level is also used for equipment storage and press box. You have to use heavy plastic sticks to push the windows open on all sides, it’s not easy to do. Once you sit down, there is not much room with all the equipment. The concession stand this year is run by Hill Top Bar and Grill, and I appreciated them running a bag of popcorn up to me during the game.
Thursday I was in Minneota for more softball. The Vikings vs the Eagles. Both teams were on top of the Camden Conference. Minneota with no losses and LQPV with one loss. Another great pitching matchup with the Eagles Haley Wollschlager and Brooklyn Nelson of the Vikings. Game two featured Sydney Larsen of the Vikings and freshman Rylee Sawatsky of the LQPV Eagles. Vikings won the first game 8 to 3 and took the second game 4 to 2. All four pitchers were fun to watch.
There is no press box at the Minneota softball field, so I bring a table and chair and set up right next to the grandstand and the LQPV bench. I love broadcasting outside and sitting in my lawn chair. Helping me broadcast the first game was Morgan Hennen. Morgan is still in high school at Minneota and on the state championship volleyball and basketball teams. Morgan asked me if she could broadcast game one, and she even admits she has the gift to gab. Morgan does very well on the radio. Scott Sawatzky put the headset on for game two. Scotts daughter Rylee pitched game two, so Scott is being a sports broadcaster and father on the air at the same time. He did great.
Minneota Vikings softball head coach is Heidi Boerboom. I have known Heidi for many years, going back to when her oldest daughter Payton played on the 2013 state basketball championship team. Heidi does a super job coaching softball, she not only teaches the girls about the game of softball, but teaches about life lessons as well. Visiting with Heidi over the years, I have learned that she really cares and loves her girls on the softball team, not only the girls but their families. I love the passion she has for coaching. She presented me with a Vikings softball shirt Thursday and told me how much she appreciates the coverage of her team.
I posted this on my Facebook page Thursday about my experience at the softball games in Minneota. I’m a really spoiled guy and super blessed. Thanks to these people
1. LQPV parents for feeding me after the game. Betty Jo Durfrane
2. Coach Janet Larsen for joining me on the post game show after a couple of tough losses.
3. Concessions stand ladies for delivering a hot dog to me between games.
4. Coach Heidi Boerboom and the Vikings team for the softball shirt!
5. Scott Sawatzky and Morgan Hennen for broadcasting with me!
6. And finally to the people who let me go ahead of them while waiting in line to use the porta potty! 😂
Being a sports broadcaster I have the opportunity to meet and build relationships with many people. People like student athletes, parents, coaches, grandparents, business owners and teachers. This past week I realized just how blessed I am to be surrounded by so many friends. It was a full week of broadcasting softball games at LQPV, Dawson and Minneota. Not only were the games important and exciting, it was what happened before and after the games. Building relationships with people. Also, broadcasting from unique press boxes and just experiencing visiting with so many people this week has been fun.