Herald Chronicle softball tournament a success, despite poor weather

Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 11:16 am

STAFF WRITER

Evan Harris

 

Even through a slew of bad storms and weather, the 32nd annual ISA Herald Chronicle Softball Tournament wrapped up on Sunday evening, labeled a great success, according to tournament director Steve Lovvorn.

Seventy five total teams took place in the tournament this year — a record high.

“Biggest Chronicle (tournament) we’ve ever had, we had 75 teams in it.” Lovvorn said following the event on Sunday.

Daytime weather was near perfection for the most part, and it wasn’t until Saturday night when the powerful storms caused game play to cease until Sunday.

Large crowds from all over the area flocked to the Winchester softball fields, all hoping their team would win.

The weather did have one drastic affect, canceling the co-ed division due to forfeits and time restraints.

Unfettered by the previous night’s storm, the tournament continued and wrapped up on Sunday.

The seven-teamed women’s bracket finished early at 9 a.m.

Next to finish was the men’s silver bracket, which had 19 teams. Signmasters of Murfreesboro was the winner, after defeating Berzett Excavating in back-to-back games.

Silver class first place team: Signmasters. Pictured from left to right, Jeremiah McSpaddin, Matt Northcutt, Jason Begley, Chris Hewgley, coach Jeff Raney, Nick Goins, Jacob Lewis, and Montarius Newsom; standing, from left, Adam Bland, John Wayne Whaley, Blake Manning, Seth Doxey, Mario Gagovski, Mikey McClain, and Bryan Frantz.  —Staff Photo by Evan Harris

Silver class first place team: Signmasters. Pictured from left to right, Jeremiah McSpaddin, Matt Northcutt, Jason Begley, Chris Hewgley, coach Jeff Raney, Nick Goins, Jacob Lewis, and Montarius Newsom; standing, from left, Adam Bland, John Wayne Whaley, Blake Manning, Seth Doxey, Mario Gagovski, Mikey McClain, and Bryan Frantz.
—Staff Photo by Evan Harris

Berzett was the team that originally sent Signmasters to the loser’s bracket before the championship game meeting. Signmasters battled back in the first game from 12 runs down to win, then ran through the second game fairly easily.

Silver Class second place team: Berzett Excavating. Pictured from left to right, kneeling, Trent Brown, Owen Blackwelder, and Shamichal Black; standing, from left, Coach Trent Spray, Trey Stewart, Ju Kelso, Barrett Sullivan, Zach Sells, Brandon Hollingsworth, and Justin McQueen. Several players not pictured.  —Staff Photo by Evan Harris

Silver Class second place team: Berzett Excavating. Pictured from left to right, kneeling, Trent Brown, Owen Blackwelder, and Shamichal Black; standing, from left, Coach Trent Spray, Trey Stewart, Ju Kelso, Barrett Sullivan, Zach Sells, Brandon Hollingsworth, and Justin McQueen. Several players not pictured.
—Staff Photo by Evan Harris

Consisting of 22 teams, the bronze bracket finished next. Digger Down of Warren County was named the winner. Digger Down‘s first game was the closest as it defeated Players 32-30.

The bracket was played in its entirety from the Winchester Babe Ruth fields across from Adventure Mountain.

Bronze class first place: Digger Down. Pictured from left to right kneeling, Lee Cardeb, Michael Thrower, Caleb Northcutt, Colby Killian, and Tyler Cantrell; standing, from left, coach Jeff Killian, Andy Southward, Brett Simmons, Billy Ba, Gavin Lewis, coach Ryan Williams, and Todd Dunn.  —Staff Photo by Evan Harris

Bronze class first place: Digger Down. Pictured from left to right kneeling, Lee Cardeb, Michael Thrower, Caleb Northcutt, Colby Killian, and Tyler Cantrell; standing, from left, coach Jeff Killian, Andy Southward, Brett Simmons, Billy Ba, Gavin Lewis, coach Ryan Williams, and Todd Dunn.
—Staff Photo by Evan Harris

From that point on in the tournament, Digger Down finished every game by run-ruling its opponents, including the championship game over Old School.

Less than five minutes after the bronze class concluded, the bronze plus bracket did as well. Twenty teams competed in the bronze plus bracket with Big Stixx ascending to the top.

Bronze Plus class first place: Big Stixx. Pictured from left to right, kneeling, Josh Summerford, Connor Brown, Pedro Holliday, Jeremy Loggins, and Jacob Fields; standing, from left, Will Cox, Chad NeSmith, Joey Summerford, Roger Smith, Kevin Summerford, Jeremy Wooldridge, and John Woodfin.  —Staff Photo by Evan Harris

Bronze Plus class first place: Big Stixx. Pictured from left to right, kneeling, Josh Summerford, Connor Brown, Pedro Holliday, Jeremy Loggins, and Jacob Fields; standing, from left, Will Cox, Chad NeSmith, Joey Summerford, Roger Smith, Kevin Summerford, Jeremy Wooldridge, and John Woodfin.
—Staff Photo by Evan Harris

Lovvorn had nothing but positives at the tournament’s conclusion, and he made sure to thank everyone involved.

“Considering the weather (the tournament was a success), we’d like to thank Franklin County, the parks and recreation people,” Lovvorn said after the tournament. “The fields were great even after a terrible storm, and we had good play all weekend long.”

Now in it’s 32nd year, the tournament is a large fundraiser for the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) as well as all the local school athletic programs.

Tournament co-organizer Barry Lamb has been helping since 1996, when the tournament consisted of just 40 teams.

As it continues to ascend in years, the tournament’s attraction will only grow larger. This is a case where the saying, “the more the merrier,” is spot on.

With the continuing growth of the tournament several programs will receive help through the profits of the tournament.

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