JPRD 8U Softball :: Our Summer Adventure
Parenthood is always full of adventures, but this summer was one I wasn’t prepared for. Like many other families, all of our kids play recreational sports. This summer, my children (Roman-11, Sienna-9, and Amelia-5) played baseball and softball for Harahan Playground.
Evening after evening, my husband and I loaded up the cars and went to the ballpark to see one (or two or three) of our kids play. Many nights we had to split up because games were at different times or on different fields. I know many families feel this pain, too. You end up flip-flopping every night so you can see all of them play!
This season, our daughter Sienna actually played on two softball teams in Jefferson Parish. In addition to the rec team at Harahan Playground, she played in the JPRD Babe Ruth League as well. The Babe Ruth team consisted of girls from all over Jefferson Parish. This is where our summer adventure really began. We had no idea what we were in for!
At the end of the regular season, 29 girls were asked to try out to be on the JPRD Allstars. Of those, 15 were selected to join the Allstar team and represent the Parish at the Babe Ruth State tournament. And Sienna, our middle daughter, made the team! This is the first 8U JPRD team to ever play in the Babe Ruth league. Her team consists of girls from 8 different playgrounds, which means this is really the first summer they’ve played softball together. And honestly, that is probably my favorite thing about her team. All of the girls go to different schools, so she has friends all over the Parish now. You know, she may end up in high school with some of them, or play ball against (or with) them down the road. Heck, some of these girls may turn out to be lifelong friends and stand in each other’s weddings!
In addition to all of the friendships made, these girls have become really good softball players. They show up to practice day after day, ready to work. It’s not an easy 2 hours, but they give it their all. They’ve learned to communicate and work together like a well-oiled machine. And their coaches are just the best. Coach Monique Duvernay, Coach Maddie Lacoste and Coach Dina Gunckel have treated these young ladies like queens. In addition to instilling some core softball skills, the coaches spoil them with treats, gear, and fun activities. All of those things are rewards for hard work and being undefeated the whole season. But the ultimate reward was winning the Regional tournament and qualifying to attend the Babe Ruth World Series in Treasure Coast, FL. This is a huge honor and one we don’t take lightly, but the girls earned it by playing the game they love.
So that’s what we are now. The World Series is a 9 day trip! We packed up and flew to Florida to cheer on our favorite group of girls. Warm up games started today, we have pool play tomorrow, and the real tournament starts next week. Cheer them on if you can! I know they’ll give it 110% … but win or lose, it doesn’t really matter. They’ve already won just by making the team and getting to meet all of these new friends. Actually, they are more like sisters instead of friends.
So many good memories have been made with our new softball friends and family. We are honored to be a part of this adventure and can’t wait to see what’s in store next!!
P.S. if you are on the fence about your daughter participating in softball, we’d encourage anyone to give their playground a try. Playground sports are lots of fun, and you can see JPRD’s offerings here.