Hello Fastpitch Fans!
The 2021 high school season flew by.
Of course, a season three weeks shorter than any in history does that to us. The WIAA Tournament field is set. There were some upsets along the way in all five divisions. Congratulations to all 16 teams in Divisions 2 through 5 in advancing to the Final Four and congratulations to the eight Division 1 teams to get to the first level of their state tournament experience which in reality is an eight-team, “Super Sectional” to get to the Final Four.
I know there was at least one appeal during the seeding process but in the end the team that was seeded higher to begin with also won the appeal.
It will be an interesting three days, weather permitting and here’s hoping that the weather does permit a smooth route throughout the event to the Division 2 final on Wednesday at 6 pm.
I will be arriving at the UW Green Bay site late in the afternoon on Monday. My son, Eric is flying in from Salt Lake City on Sunday and on Monday morning we will travel back to Madison for him to pick up a rental car on the west side.
Here is a story my family is watching closely. The Co-Head Coaches at Cedarburg are my daughter Kari’s brothers-in-law. Jeff Langkamp and Mark Jessup took over the Bulldog program several years ago. Jeff has extensive men’s fastpitch playing experience and know the game well. Another interesting side story to that one is that Sussex Hamilton has a player whose name is Isabelle Langkamp who happens to be the daughter of Co-Head Coach Jeff Langkamp at Cedarburg. Those two faced each other early in the season when Hamilton played Cedarburg. They could be the first father-daughter combo to face each other in a state tournament and that would happen only in the Division 1 Final on Wednesday at 4:30 pm at UW-Green Bay.
The WIAA State Tournament program is now posted online. If you are not going to the tournament and want a copy just hit this link and print of whatever portions of the program you want to read about or print out the entire program. Here is the link https://wiaa1.app.box.com/s/d2acc6komvkkbo0i20djbjhnn3bvmfk7
I have spent some time this morning updating The Fastpitch Chronicle’s Coaches Honor Roll pages. Take a look at all those listings and if you are a coach or know a coach who should be added to the lists or have their totals updated that I have not done yet just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will take care of it right away.
Take a look at The Fastpitch Chronicle State Records posted therein. They are unofficial of course. To get on the list a player’s numbers must be verified by the head coach of the school she played at – either a former coach or the current head coach.
I’d guess that WFSCA All District meetings will be taking place this weekend or in the near future. All WFSCA awards are sponsored by that organization and to be eligible for post season awards of any kind associated with the WFSCA the head coach must be a current member of the club. It is too late to join at this time. The deadline this year was May 24th.
Here are few thoughts from off the top of my head. These are just my thoughts and beliefs and do not mean that I expect anyone to have the same thoughts I do -- they are simply my thoughts.
At the sectional level I believe that every venue chosen must have a pitching warm up area down each team’s side of the field. Without that included there should not be a sectional played at that site. Warming up in front of a team’s bench area should not be allowed before any game, anywhere. At the sectional level there should be a specific area with pitcher's plates and home plates.
I believe that every sectional site must provide indoor plumbing/restroom facilities and not just a portable toilet or two.
I believe that every sectional site must have seating at least five rows high directly behind home plate and that the seating area should be divided down the middle according to the side of the field a team’s bench is on. If I have to pay to watch, there should be seating provided. If I have to take a lawn chair along I should not have to pay to sit in my own chair.
I believe that every announcer at games all season long should do their homework and know how to pronounce every player’s name correctly. The players deserve to be recognized correctly. I heard some name butchering at the sectional I was at. Pronouncing a player’s name incorrectly as they step into the batter’s box takes that kid out of the moment she has earned. Her name must not be pronounced incorrectly. Our team has experienced the same thing during state tournament introductions and during the course of games and that after the announcer has been handed a phonetic pronunciation sheet to boot. It should not happen that way. Every public address announcer at every venue ought to sound neutral.
I believe that there should not be plastic, collapsible outfield fences at sectional tournament sites and that all fields be completely enclosed so a rolling ball can’t get out of play or under an outfield fence.
I believe that every sectional semi-final should have three umpires but due to umpire shortages I understand the reason there are not three sectional semi-final umpires. However, I can still believe there should be three.
I believe the WIAA along with the leaders of the WFSCA have done a tremendous job of negotiating this season after having cancelled 2020 totally. I commend everyone involved in creating a season and a state tournament series that will be remembered for a long time, especially by this year’s participants.
That’s just a partial list of things I believe.
Throughout the season I provided more than 200 Fastpitch Chronicle Award Certificates to players at the JV and varsity level for pitching a no-hitter that was at least five innings long, a perfect game that was at least five innings long, First Ever Varsity Home Run awards, first-ever high school home run for JV players, Grand Slam Home Run Awards, Multiple Home Runs in the same game, Home runs in two or more games in a row, RBI totals of five or more in a game, Triple Player awards to every defensive player involved in the play, Amazing catch Certificates, Amazing Play Certificates and more. All those awards had to be verified. More than 200 is a lot of certificates but there probably could have been or should have been more than a thousand of them.
The award certificates were done in school colors. The players did the hard work, the coach had to report the information to me, I had to take the time to create the award and send the pdf to the head coach and the head coach had to provide a blank sheet of white paper.
We received a lot of great game summaries throughout the season from coaches who found the time to type up whatever information they were willing to submit. Thanks to those coaches who did that.
If you are at the state tournament watch for my son and I and let’s have a fastpitch chat. That would be great.
Keep it Rising!