The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Softballers rev up to defend title


May 19, 2006

Janet Taylor-Birkey Janet Taylor-Birkey

The Defending United States Softball Association Military World Champion, Cannon mens’ varsity softball team, opened their 2006 softball season with an impressive first place finish in the Clovis Umpires Tune Up and a second place finish in the Knights Challenge, May 6 and 7.

The team is currently in first place in the Clovis Softball Associations Mens’ Competitive League with an 8 - 1 record.

Having been with the team for four years, Coach Peter Santos said this is the most talented team ever from Cannon. He credits players for acting as a team while both on and off the field as a critical factor in making his job as coach easier.

But all the teamwork in the world will not help bring the win, unless the players possess the skills needed. Santos said that the leadership of the veterans coupled with talent of the rookies have made for a lethal combination.

All of these things gave Coach Santos high expectations, but he was still in for a surprise this year.

“We had five players return that were named to the All Tournament Team and the Most Valuable Player at the 2005 World Championship last year, so we expected to have a good year but the start we are having right now was unexpected. The new guys on the team have really stepped up,” said Coach Santos.

The team is in good form, the plays are smooth and the team is looking forward to one of the best seasons in years. But like anything of value, there are obstacles to overcome.

“The biggest challenge we are having right now has been funding. Hopefully those issues will be resolved soon but for right now we will do our best to represent Cannon,” said Coach Santo. “Everything we are doing now is preparing us for two major tournaments.”

“The team has been invited to the ABC Wide World of Sports National Invitational Tournament in Disney World and the Military World Championship, Aug. 17 to 20,” said Coach Santos.

“There will be a lot of teams gunning for us at ‘worlds’ this year, last year we surprised them, it’s our hill now; they have to knock us off.”


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