Rogers, Ark 65AA champs

Front row left to right: Johnny Blecher, Mick Calverly, Bob Laderach, Terry Scholtz, Kelly Petrie, David McKie. Back row: Coach Paul Dorwaldt, Randy Brewer, Cylde Ziegler, Jim Reese, John Thompson, Dale Hill, Carl Caruso

Johnny Blecher

Some things get better with time. That doesn’t typically apply to softball skills, but it seems to work for the Robson Ranch Texans 65AA Softball Team and their tournaments. In June the Texans won the Texas State 65AA Championship in Waxahachie and then in July they won the SSUSA Midwest Championship in Rogers, Ark.

At Rogers, the Texans played three 65AAA teams for our pool (seeding) play and had to duke it out with Kansas City’s 65AA R&D Leverage for the championship.

If past performances were the best indicator, one would expect our Texans to win it with their bats. They didn’t. You sometimes hear the adage, “defense wins championships,” and that was definitely the case in Rogers as the Boyz showed they know how to handle those gloves.

You likely have heard of the Dirty Dozen; this was the ‘Dusty Thirteen’ with very little wiggle room for injuries. Mick Calverly and Carl Caruso traded off the pitching duties with John Thompson doing the scooping at first base. Kelly Petre and Clyde Ziegler traded off at second base and catcher. Terry Scholze played shortstop, Dale Hill played third with Bob Laderach and Johnny Blecher filling in the infield. Jim Reese, David McKie, Ron Schwertner, Randy Brewer and Bob Laderach stood up the ‘no fly zone’ in the outfield and with Coach Paul Dorwaldt, the Robson Ranchers had a pretty good combination working.

If Mick missed a beat, Carl picked him up and so it went. Everyone jumped in to give us our first tournament win over the 65AAA Dallas Spurs (17–11) to close out day one. Playing only two games per day seemed to work out well for our over 65-year-old bodies.

Game one of day two was the last of pool play and we had our rear ends handed to us by the 65AAA Midwest Express from Illinois. Hey, a record of 1–2, going into bracket play after playing three 65AAA teams isn’t bad. We did best the Dallas Spurs, a first for us. Wednesday afternoon set us up for game one of a best of three for the championship against R&D Leverage of Kansas City.

In game one, Ron Schwertner and David McKie provided the long ball while Carl Caruso stayed steady on the mound. Indicative of the commitment of this team, Terry Scholze and Johnny B collided behind second base; both chasing a two out, two on, short fly behind second. Terry caught the ball for the third out and Johnny B was somewhere out there too. Committed, yes; good communicators calling for the ball — not so much (Come on, Boyz, be careful). Before the dust settled, Randy B was in for Johnny and was racing around the bases with a double. After Mick hit one over the outfield for a base clearing triple, game one was a victory for our Texans, 17–9.

Game two of the championship was much of the same with Jim Reese making catch after dramatic catch. Dale, John T, Kelly and Mick picked up ten of the teams’ 18 hits in the last game and again the gloves made the difference in a low scoring 11–6 win for our Texans. John T carried a hot bat for the entire tournament, hitting .700, and was a sure choice for All Tournament. Terry Scholze anchored the infield and seemed to get better every game at the plate. David M, Jim R and Johnny B joined Terry and John T as All Tournament and our Texans came home from their last tournament of the year with their heads held high – and the trophy.

Well done Texans!