For the past five years, the 10U girls' softball team has been competing in the American Softball Association (ASA) games. However, this year, the Future Badgers Fast Pitch team, under the coaching of Tomi Bateman and Josh Young, went undefeated and returned from Orofino with a trophy. Prior to competing in the championship game at Orofino, the team had played Sandpoint six times and won all six games.
"I think this season the girls were really awesome," said Tomi, who has coached the 10U team for the past three years. "They may not have had a lot of games, but they all showed up to tons of practices. We were able to get a lot of repetitions in and we got a lot of work done. They had great attitudes and many of them grew a lot. The girls are what made the experience for me. The whole reason I do it is because I want the girls to learn the mechanics and basic skills of the game while they're young."
According to Tomi, the 10U team is for girls age ten years and under. The 10U program is just beginning to form around the region in such places as Troy and Priest River, but Bonners Ferry has had a 10U team for several years.
"The cool thing is that we are ahead of the game because our program has already formed," said Tomi. "We'd like to see even more girls turn out in the future so that we can have several teams here in the county."
Other members of the coaching staff were Keith Unruh and Jed Bateman.
Team member Diana Walter summarized the enthusiasm of the team, saying, "I was excited that we won because we were totally undefeated and won all the tournament games. When I'm in the 12U program, I'll have more experience and will know how to get in front of the ball and will have my batting form down."
Girls interested in joining the ASA 10U program may contact Wendy Bertling at 267-5088 for further information. The Future Badgers Fast Pitch Team is also looking for adult volunteers to help with the program in the future. Teams will be forming in May 2010.