At Disney World
By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE May 2, 2000 -- As television commercials in recent
years have shown, the athletes from championship sports
teams often visit Disney World after helping their team
win the big game.
But a recent trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida
helped the Tri-Valley Lady Bears win important games
following their trip to the Magic Kingdom.
Nineteen members of the T-V softball squad, accompanied
by coaches and chaperones, attended Disneys
softball spring training at the Wide World of Sports
Complex from April 15 to April 22. The team started
planning for the trip in March 1998 and raised funds
through pizza sales, recycling and donations from the
community. In all, nearly $23,000 was raised for the
At the clinic, the Lady Bears competed in five scrimmages
and two games against high school teams from Maine,
Massachusetts and Ohio. (None of the games, however,
counted in any of the teams official season
There was some real stiff competition, noted
T-V coach Mary Feusner. We played one game against
a team from Maine that had only 125 kids K through 12 and
another game against a team that had a [grades] 9 to 12
student population of 4,000. Our competition ran the
While the team members enjoyed a three-day park pass to
Disney World, a day at the water park and a trip to SeaWorld, they also learned a great deal about softball.
And that knowledge paid off in the first two games the
Lady Bears played since returning to the county. T-V beat
Liberty 11-7 and Monticello 11-10 in nine innings in the
Sullivan County Officials Softball Tournament Friday.
I learned how to place the ball better and to go
after bigger hitters, said senior pitcher Mia Kawauchi.
It was a great experience, added sophomore
catcher Alesia Rexford. We learned different
strategies on [throwing out] base runners and how to be
more heads up when theyre ready to go.
Senior first baseman Rachel Altbach noted that other
strategies helped her.
We did a lot of base running, she commented.
I have a lot more confidence on the bases
Hitting and bunting tips were also covered in lessons at
Theres no doubt the Lady Bears had plenty of sun
and fun as well as time to hone their softball talents.
And its a safe bet they would love to go back.
It was definitely a good experience, Kawauchi
The trip was worth the fundraising, Altbach