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 June 11, 2010

News

Softball game promotes partnership between McCoy, Sparta

Story & Photos by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Two big innings along with stellar defensive plays led the Fort McCoy team to a hard-fought 7-4 victory in a June 6, 16-inchno-gloves-allowed softball game against a Sparta contingent.

PHOTO: A Fort McCoy batter swings at a pitch during the Fort McCoy-Sparta softball game at Constitution Park. Photo by Rob Schuette
A Fort McCoy batter swings at a pitch during the Fort McCoy-Sparta softball game at Constitution Park. The offense generated just enough run support to edge the Sparta team 7-4. The game was played with a Chicago-style 16-inch softball. Players from both teams caught the ball bare-handed as no gloves were allowed.

Fort McCoy put up four runs in the first inning and three runs in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead. Sparta came back with three in the seventh and one in the eight to keep the pressure on.

The biggest winners, however, were the respective communities, said 1st Sgt. David Huskey, the Fort McCoy coach and organizer, Tony Angelini, Sparta organizer, and Jeff Ames, Sparta coach.

“It was a really fun game,” Angelini said. “We have a great relationship with Fort McCoy, and we hope to have an even stronger relationship between Sparta and Fort McCoy because of the game.”

Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser said the game was a good example of the relationship and support between the two communities as it embodies the Army Community Covenant. Strong community support leads to stronger Army Families.

Angelini’s Restaurant of Sparta has been a great supporter of Fort McCoy and recognizes the value of the Soldiers and the relationship between the two communities, he said.

Huskey said it became evident after a few practices that the McCoy team would be built around defense.

PHOTO: The Fort McCoy defense made plays like this one all game long to support the pitching of Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser. Photo by Rob Schuette
The Fort McCoy defense made plays like this one all game long to support the pitching of Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser. A rematch between the teams will be held at a Sparta ball field this fall.

“I knew we would have to be fundamentally sound and put the ball into play,” Huskey said. “I recruited some players for speed knowing we would need that, too.”

The team was very representative of the installation as players came from the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison, RTC-Central, the Medical Deployment Health Services and the Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

It was challenging to meld the team into a cohesive unit because the work schedules and other circumstances prevented the team from practicing together as a whole before the game, Huskey said.

Angelini donated a traveling trophy that will remain with the Fort McCoy squad until a planned fall rematch in Sparta, which will be a standard softball game with a 12-inch ball and gloves.

Angelini also showed his support of the military by donating $200 to the Army Emergency Relief program and $200 to the Association of the U.S. Army.

PHOTO: Tony Angelini (right) presents a symbolic $200 check to the Army Emergency Relief program accepted by Lori Enghusen of the Fort McCoy Army Community Service Center. Photo by Rob Schuette
Tony Angelini (right) presents a symbolic $200 check to the Army Emergency Relief program accepted by Lori Enghusen of the Fort McCoy Army Community Service Center. The Fort McCoy and Sparta teams are in the background.

“We’re looking forward to the rematch in the fall,” Angelini said. “We lost two runs today because of a no sliding rule. I’m sure it will be a competitive game.”

For more information about the Fort McCoy team and fall rematch, call Huskey at 636-734-8476.

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