Golden girls softball league grows to about 100 players this year

Season will run until mid-July

Posted 6/5/19

For 13-year-old Casey Hume, it doesn’t get much better than playing softball with her friends on a warm summer night under the lights at Lions Park. “It’s just a cool experience,” she said. …

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Golden girls softball league grows to about 100 players this year

Season will run until mid-July

Posted

For 13-year-old Casey Hume, it doesn’t get much better than playing softball with her friends on a warm summer night under the lights at Lions Park.

“It’s just a cool experience,” she said.

Hume, a catcher, is in her fifth year playing softball with the Golden Girls Softball Association, a recreational girls’ softball league offered to girls age 5-18. This year, there are eight teams in the league, divided by age groups.

The 2019 season has just begun for the league — practices began on April 1 and games on May 6 — and will continue through mid-July. Because Golden Girls Softball is part of the Girls Softball League of Jefferson County, the girls will play games against teams from across Jefferson County.

“I like the team collaboration and being outside,” Hume said. “You form a unique relationship with them (the other girls) that you don’t get at school.”

But as much as they enjoy playing softball, the girls also enjoy being involved with their community, said Hume’s mom Amy, who has been on the league’s board for two years.

In April, the girls cleaned up Lions Park to get it ready for the softball season. They also participate in the Buffalo Bill Days Parade every year, and one of the Olde Golden Christmas and Holiday parades each December.

“Exposure is great for the league, and for the girls,” Amy Hume said. The league’s “growth helps build community, and you see that because more and more girls are becoming interested” in joining the league.

The league is run solely by volunteer efforts. Along with the coaches, this includes the seven-member board — president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, registrar, scheduler and equipment manager. Along with the girls making a presence in the community, Stephanie Sherman, the board’s treasurer, is largely to thank for the league’s growth within the past few years, Amy Hume said.

Sherman and her husband Joe got involved in 2014, when the league had three recreational teams and 37 players. In 2016, the league grew to 52 players, but the former president wanted somebody to take over management of it, Sherman said. She and her husband were two of the three people appointed to the task.

In 2017, Sherman helped the league develop its current board of directors. That year, 57 girls played with the league and in 2018, that number increased to 79 players. This year, there are about 100 girls playing on the eight teams.

“Teaching the girls how to be a part of a team improves their self-esteem and teaches them how to work well with others,” Sherman said. “It also provides them with an opportunity to be active and have fun in a safe environment.”

It also helps, Hume added, that “we’ve got some really good, dedicated coaches.”

Ben and Tatum Smith are two of them. They co-coach the age 10 and under team.

Playing softball “empowers girls,” Tatum Smith said. Plus, “they build lifelong friendships.”

Tatum Smith played with the Golden Girls Softball league when she was 9 in the mid-1980s and her mother, Tonie Mattox, served on the board. Tatum Smith went on to play softball for a competitive team in the Golden area, then with Golden High School’s team as a teen and continued to play in college while she attended the Colorado School of Mines.

“You kind of forget about all that until your kids are old enough to play,” Tatum Smith said. “Then it’s like it never went away.”

It was Mattox who learned the Golden Girls Softball league was still around, and suggested that Smith’s daughter, Reagan, 9, might like it.

“I asked her and she said she wanted to play,” Smith said. “I think it’s in her blood.”

Reagan is in her second year playing with Golden Girls Softball, which is what got the Smiths into coaching.

“It’s fun to be back on the field, throwing a ball again,” Tatum Smith said. “And as a parent, I love seeing my daughter branch out.”

Matt Jeppson serves as the league’s president and is in his fourth year of coaching Golden Girls Softball. His two daughters — Lilly, 10, and Stella, 7 — play on those teams.

“Part of it is being a dad and being involved with my daughters,” Jeppson said. “But it’s also because I’m a huge believer in team sports. They are a great stepping stone toward life.”

Kids today have so much screen time, he said. While there’s nothing wrong with using technology, especially as educational tools, it’s just as valuable to teach children to be healthy and active, both mentally and physically, Jeppson said.

“Everybody wants their kids to succeed in any given subject,” Jeppson said. “Sports are like the forgotten thing in education. It’s good to get outside and have fun, running around with friends.”

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