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Our season started on April 13-16 in Florida at the famous Florida Duels. This was the 1st time that this team and these coaches had ever played together, so there was a lot to figure out. However, on the first morning of the tournament, when we took batting practice together, I knew this group was going to be special. Watching them interact and the chemistry that they were developing in the first hour of knowing each other showed me they were ready to play for something bigger than themselves. Each man knew and committed to playing for what Sports Reach stands for: reaching the world through sports and sharing the Gospel and Good News of Jesus Christ.

We started in Florida where we had two tournaments in 1 weekend and learned a lot about ourselves. We learned that every man on the team cares more about Sports Reach and the man next to them than they do themselves. We learned that when we are winning, we have a whole lot of fun, but more importantly, when we are losing, we never give up and still have a whole lot of fun. I truly can see God’s hand working. From the rookies learning from the veterans to the coaches learning from the players. We finished in Florida in 5th and 9th place, giving us a good start to the season-long points race.

We went to our second tournament on April 27-30 in Euless, Tx, which was another dual. Going in, we now knew what we were capable of and had some expectations and goals for the weekend. We actually started off the exact opposite – losing our 1st game of each dual. But, just like the team has already shown, we had tons of heart and fight and showed the determination to not lay down. We were arriving at the field as early as 6:30 am and sometimes not leaving until the next morning. The players fought through fatigue, injuries, and sleep deprivation, but they never gave up. We battled through all hours of the day and night in both tournaments to grab a 9th and 4th place finish. This has allowed us to be in the 12th spot in points with a chance to jump in the Top 7 next weekend at Myrtle Beach.

This is a “we, not me” kind of team. They are willing to do whatever it takes for the benefit of Sports Reach. Through four tournaments, we shared the Gospel with around 450-500 men on and off the field. The effect of God’s word has truly shown as a lot of these men have said, “ I needed to hear this right now.” The team has truly embraced the words we wear in the name slot in the back of the jerseys, which simply say “God’s Glory”. This means that whatever we do on and off the field, we give all the credit and glory to God. We are 19-8 on the season and are still learning and improving as a team in every event. We look forward to all the highs but are ready to embrace all the lows and can’t wait to see what God has in store for this team.


Robert Blackburn #17
Brandon Jonas #3
Tommy Melton #8
Austin Mapes #6
Austin Andrews #0
Dagmar Pena #1
Robbie Fow #7
Brad Sheffield #40
Jeff Keske #11
Tyler Kahlke #21
Jason Gilfillian #12
Travis houseman #99
Dylan Smith #32
Mark Blaziewske #5
Roy Rison #4
Robby Speer
OJ McFarland
Drew Speer
Michael Haney
Ryan Wilson

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