Fri Sep 30th, 2016
The Southern Ute Drum
For most athletes the need to compete is something that sticks with them for long after high school and college sports come to end. Locally, adult men, women and coed softball teams are known to take competition seriously, playing in top-notch tournaments and winning, a lot of the times.
So it came as no surprise to hear that two local Native softball teams, UNC and D12, would be making their way up to Salt Lake City, Utah to compete in the Native American World Series Softball Tournament September 23-25.
A number of other Native American, Men’s, Women’s and Co-ed teams went to Salt Lake with the same mission: “bring home the top prize”. However, the tournament so many were looking forward to was delayed two days due to weather and field conditions.
Overcoming the delays and agreeing to play shortened game times, UNC and D12 – both teams with players from Ute tribes – took to the still wet and muddy fields on Sunday, September 25, to fiercely battle teams from other tribal nations. Some teams opted to drop out at the last minute leaving the men’s tournament with only 14 teams.
UNC easily won the first three games. Losing game number four to Team 4 Peaks. Trying to climb their way back to the championship game they played hard, but came up short to the to Sioux Nation with a final score being 27-15. However, UNC did end up placing 3rd.
“Attitudes were great and we played as a team,” pitcher for UNC, RC Lucero said. “Proud of the heart that everyone played with … the biggest challenge was playing against the clock with a shortened time limit.”
D12 started out a bit slower, losing the first game, but battling back to win the next three. However, D12 ended up losing to Sioux Nation and placing 4th overall.
It’s hard to say what could’ve been for the two teams if they were able to play the full weekend but regardless, both teams played hard and finished what they started.
Congratulations to both UNC and D12.