Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Who is No. 1? We'll find out Thursday

The great debate has raged on for a number of weeks now. Who is the real No. 1 team in the News-Herald's softball top of the crop?

We will find out on Thursday when - in a recently scheduled event - current No. 1 NDCL travels to current No. 2 South for a non-conference game at 4:30 p.m.

A tip of the cap goes to both parties here, NDCL coach Jack McParland and his school's AD Frank Platzar, as well as South coach Erin Dodson and AD Steve Nedlik. This game didn't NEED to be played. Because of early season rainouts, both NDCL and South have a slew of league games yet to play, not to mention a tournament schedule that begins this week with sectionals.

If either or both schools said, "We just can't fit it into our schedule," then no one would have blamed them.

But they decided to play the game virtually on a whim.

And what a game it will be.

NDCL pitcher Jill Hetki vs. South counterpart Nicole Motuza.

South's high scoring, quick offense against the slugging offense of NDCL.

Two of the area's best coaches in McParland and Dodson.

That South and NDCL decided to play a nonconference game in the middle of this busy stretch is win-win all the way around. For the players, they will get a stern tests against the best competition the area has to offer. For the fans, this should be an exciting afternoon of softball. And, selfishly speaking, for me - I get to cover the game.

Fans have been asking for this. In the past week, I've had fans from each school question me on the rankings. Said a South fan as I arrived for last week's game against North, "Oh, so you're coming to see the REAL number one team tonight, I see." Said one from NDCL, "How do you formulate the top of the crop? How do you know who is better, us or South?"

Up til this point, it's been a hunch.

Come Thursday, we'll know for sure.

- John Kampf


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