The Bullard Baseball and Softball Association’s 2017 season may be coming to an end, but the organization has been able to hit a home run in terms of success with its All-Star teams this year.
“It’s been a great season for our organization,” said Andy Alexander, president of Bullard Baseball and Softball Association. “All of our All-Star teams, both boys and girls, have done exceedingly well and have allowed the association to have the most success we’ve had as a whole. We were able to bring a lot of District and State championships, as well as World Series qualifications, back to Bullard. We’ve been able to get better as an organization each year and send more teams further into the playoffs than we’ve ever had.”
For the softball program within Bullard Baseball and Softball Association, the organization chose to make a change this season, switching over from competing in Dixie Softball to USA Softball, a decision that Alexander says has helped the association by increasing the level of competition.
“The change from Dixie to USA Softball came about because we felt that from our standpoint and where we are as an organization, making this change would allow our girls to have better competition, better abilities to play in a setting that we felt was better in terms of playing locations and rules. We like where we are headed with the softball program now, but we’re always looking for what’s best for our girls and our association in terms of competition and opportunities.”
The Bullard 8U All-Star softball team was able to take on the strong competition well this season, securing a first place finish in District play, as well as claiming the recognition of State runners-up and qualifying for the World Series.
Players on the Bullard 8U All-Star softball team include Myleigh Davenport, Cadence Ellis, McKenzie Lakata, Savanna Lewis, Allison Martin, Piper Moore, Presley Park, Kenzie Roberts, Lila Roberts, Shiloh Sluder, Launa Smith, and Sullivan Sneed. The team is coached by Chad Campbell, Ty Lindsey, and Stephen Sluder.
Likewise, the Bullard 10U All-Star softball team was able to battle their way throughout the season’s tough teams, placing first in District play and then finishing in first place, allowing the team to qualify for the World Series.
Members of the Bullard 10U All-Star softball team are Brooklyn Brannen, Blair Brister, Emery Downing, Rylie Jo Garner, Rylie Graul, Lanna Grace Kidd, Katherine Neal, Matti Nix, Makayla Spencer, Tatym Todd, and Zaylee Zahirniak. Serving as the team’s coaches are Joe Brannen, Yvonne Deese, Coleman Kidd, Matt Nix, Trampus Spencer, and Cory Zahirniak.
The Bullard 12U All-Star softball team was able to swing the bats strongly and overpower the competition in order to claim first place in both District play and in State, securing their qualification for the World Series.
The roster for the Bullard 12U All-Star softball team includes Bailey Benson, Morgan Bearden, Bonnye Bunn, Brilee Denney, Madison Downs, Berlyn Grossman, Parker Hayes, Addison Hooker, Lanie May, Sara Neal, Ally Nichols, and Paige Whitehead. The team’s coaches include Brain Bearden, Jeremy Denney, Brian Downs, and Tim Hooker.
For the baseball program at Bullard Baseball and Softball Association, the organization was able to achieve a special recognition, as all of the organization’s boys All-Star teams swept first place in District.
The Bullard Red All-Star T-Ball team was able to outrun the opposition around the bases, taking home first place in District with an undefeated regular season, allowing them to qualify and advance to the South Regional State Tournament.
Players on the Bullard Red All-Star T-Ball team include Drew Bighorse, Caelon Carpenter, Cooper Cummings, Hudson Haak, Lawson Haynes, Layton Kidd, Collin Morris, Ben Norwell, Asher Pate, Grayson Stone, Everett Stovall, and Owen Wood. The team is coached by Dakota Bighorse, Jay Haak, Coleman Kidd, and Spencer Pate.
The season for the Bullard 8U Blue All-Star baseball team was successful as well, as the team achieved an undefeated season and secured the Co-District Championship by finishing in first place in District Play and advancing the team to the South Regional State Tournament, where they finished their season as State Semi-finalists.
The Bullard 8U Blue All-Star baseball team’s roster consists of Brantley Bruno, Logan Burris, Rush Dickson, Kyle Hartwig, Caleb Melhart, Hunter Powell, Preston Rainwater, Tristan Shepherd, Tucker Stainback, Caiden Taylor, Carsyn Walker, and Tate Wynne. Coaches for the team are Shon Dickson, James Melhart, Jason Stainback, and Dustin Wynne.
Also swinging the bats hard and claiming an undefeated season was the Bullard 9U All-Star baseball team, completing the season with a first place finish in District play and advancing the team to the South Region State Tournament.
Members of the Bullard 9U All-Star baseball team are Luke Alexander, Hayes Cowart, Cade Craig, JP Gardner, Jonah Hunter, Atley Jones, Riley Park, Ty Rigsby, Bryce Roberts, and Gabe Tatum. Serving as the team’s coaches are Glen Cowart, Davy Rigsby, and Shayne Tatum.
The Bullard 10U All-Star baseball team was also able to achieve an undefeated season this year, allowing the team to take home first place in District play and advance to the South Regional State Tournament.
The roster for the Bullard 10U All-Star baseball team includes Layne Alexander, CJ Bird, Crew Bowman, Gage Brown, Dylan Fowler, Tyler Lamberth, Sam Lee, Trey Martin, Dylan McLemore, Jachin Salas, Brayden Vining, and Traeson Wynne. The team is coached by Andy Alexander, Ray Brown, and Dustin Wynne.
The final team from Bullard Baseball and Softball Association to battle their way to the top of the standings was the Bullard 12U All-Star baseball team, finishing the season by claiming first place in District play, allowing the team to qualify and advance to the South Regional State Tournament.
Players on the Bullard 12U All-Star baseball team include Ayden Barrett, Bryce Brannen, Carter Brooks, Beckham Campbell, Cason Craig, Gunnar Hall, John Lloyd, Toby Marsh, Bryson Mason, Jabin Moore, Tanner Stainback, and Owen Thompson. The team’s coaches are Joe Brannen, Stephen Brooks, and Jason Stainback.
According to Alexander, Bullard Baseball and Softball Association was able to draw over 450 young athletes participating on regular-season teams this year, keeping the organization’s numbers strong at a time when other programs’ participation seem to be declining.
“This year, we were about to have between 450 and 475 players on about 40 different teams,” said Alexander. “With the number of players and quality of athletes we’ve been fortunate enough to have, we’ve gotten to the point now where when we compete across the state, people know about Bullard Baseball and Softball Association. While other athletic association’s numbers are falling, our association has been able to maintain roughly the same numbers for several years, which has helped us to be able to achieve great success, while looking for more success each year.”
Alexander credited the support of the parents and community members involved with Bullard Baseball and Softball Association for helping to continually build the organization with success after success each season.
“I often say, and I don’t bat an eye when I do, that this organization is one of the best organizations in the state of Texas,” said Alexander. “For a town our size, we’re one of the bigger organizations. We’re 100 percent self-funded and we’re an organization ran completely by numerous selfless volunteers who help us achieve success year after year. There’s just not another organization out there like ours, which is attributed to the community; without the community, there would be no Bullard Baseball and Softball Association. It amazes me with the level of community support we receive, it’s just outstanding and we’re so thankful to everyone that supports our organization and our kids because it’s all about them having fun.”
Note: The Bullard 9U, 10U, and 12U baseball teams were continuing play in their respective South Regional State Tournaments at the time of publication, with all three teams having a chance to qualify for the World Series. The teams’ finishes will be covered by Bullard Banner News at a later date.