Sports for July 31, 2008

Angels Hit the Links

WALSENBURG- The Puttering Angels held their annual tournament Sunday, July 27 to the delight of the twenty teams who participated.  In the end, the team of Leo Sager and Sheila Drought  captured first place for the first flight.  Winners of the second flight were Kathy Mondragon and Phil Maltsberger. The unique tournament had players putting blindfolded on the number two green and teeing off the number five hole using an opposite-handed club which made play interesting.

     Twenty pairs signed up for the handicap play tournament.  Prizes were awarded to the top three teams in each flight.  Other first-flight winners included Nicki and Bruce Eccher placing second and Leona Ducan and Bernie Trujillo placing third.  Second-flight winners were June Duley and Alan Larson, placing second and Lauree Lee Romero and Andy Farris placing third.  Awards were given for the longest drive to Maltsberger (men) and Eccher (women) and for the closest to the pin to Eccher.

    Door prizes were awarded to almost everyone who participated as nineteen local merchants donated various gifts. The Puttering Angels would like to thank Walsenburg Lumber, Armida’s, Community Banks of Colorado, the First National Bank in Trinidad, Subway, Adventure Trails, Morningstar Coffee, Garrett Sheldon, Huerfano Journal, Edla’s Yarn, Mike’s Coffee Bean, April’s Attic, The Pawn Shop, Main Event, Grandote Peaks Golf Course, Ryus Avenue Bakery, Charlie’s Market, the Anchor Motel and Lori Cordova and Jessie Pena.

    The Puttering Angels play every Monday morning at 10 am.  If you would like to join them, call the Walsenburg Golf Club at 738-2730.

Summer Recreation Nears End

WALSENBURG-  The summer adult softball league will wrap up their season this weekend with their All-Star game and league tournament.  Throughout the summer, the lights were blazing over Fiesta Park as fifteen teams, eight mens’ teams and seven ladies’ teams, competed in action to determine who would emerge as Walsenburg’s softball kings and queens.

    The summer program includes approximately 210 team players.  Games were played  on Sunday through Thursday which kept the participants busy.  It is not unusual for teams to play doubleheaders, because some players come from Cuchara, Gardner, La Veta, Aguilar, and Trinidad.  There are some members of a woman’s team who travel from Raton and Springer, New Mexico.  According to Dave Manzanares, adult recreation director, “Walsenburg is one of the few remaining cities with a woman’s adult recreation league.  These ladies want to play and are willing to travel to do so.”

    This weekend’s games include the annual All-Star Game July 31 .  Players are selected by the captains of each all-star team who nominate players from other teams.  They cannot select players from their own squad.  The names of the players are then thrown into a hat and the teams are chosen at random.  This means teammates can be pitted against one another which adds to the excitement.  It is also a way to continue the competitive spirit among the players beyond team play.  League play will end with the annual tournament beginning August 1-3.   

    Dave Manzanares has been running the adult recreation league in Walsenburg for the past 25 years and has been successful in keeping the league active.  According to Manzanares, “We first started out playing on the old Saint Mary’s football field in 1970.  We’d split the field in half and have two games at a time.”  It wasn’t until the city’s fast- pitch baseball league ended in 1973 that they moved to the Fiesta Park field.  They have been there ever since. 

    Play is extremely competitive.  The players take their games seriously.  For example, in the final game of the evening last Thursday, the Daniels Towing team came from behind in the bottom of the last inning to defeat  C&C Cigarettes, 20-19, giving them sole possession of first place. The win came from  Dave Noga’s shot to left field, driving in Brian Baker for the win.  According to Greg Daniels, captain for Daniels towing, “The game was a barn-burner.  The best game I’ve ever seen.”  The night air was filled with tension and in the end a great game was played and everyone had a great time.  The games are played under the direction of the American Softball Association (ASA) guidelines. According to Manzanares, “The league brings in certified ASA  umpires to keep the games fair.  The players may not agree with their decisions, but in the end, everyone is satisfied.”   Manzanares also runs the Plaza de los Leones tournament where teams come from all over southern Colorado to play ball.

    In the early formation of the league, Don Montoya  ran the league for twelve years before Manzanares took over.  Montoya was instrumental in getting the play shifted to Fiesta Park.  He kept the interest of the players up as the old fastball teams shifted their attention to softball.  Softball has been a part of the Walsenburg summertime scene ever since.  Manzanares encourages everyone to come out this weekend to watch some good old fashioned baseball.   See next week’s Journal for the complete results.

JMHS  Golf Practice Begins

WALSENBURG- The John Mall Panthers golf team will begin practice Friday, August 2 beginning at 4 pm at the Walsenburg Golf course.  Coach Lee Vigil indicated there is room for additional duffers on the team and asks if any player is interested in joining to show up Friday.  The team will begin competitive play in mid-August.