Wasco Diamonds open 15th season

By on March 12, 2009

The Wasco Diamonds fast pitch girls travel softball, founded 15 years ago by Joe Garbarski, is set to open the 2009 season.

The program has grown from two teams in 1995, to an eight team, elite program. The Wasco Diamonds have sent 40 teams to National Championships, have had numerous top 20 finishes and eight top 10 finishes throughout the years. In 2008, the 10U team finished second at the ASA 10U Northern Nationals in South Bend, Ind., and the 11U team won their first National Championship in St. Louis, Mo., with an eight-game sweep at the 2008 11U USSSA World Series.

The Wasco Diamonds have eight teams that were selected from a field of 145 girls at try-outs last August. Teams consist of 104 players of the best athletes in the Fox Valley area, from 41 towns and 48 different schools. Teams have been practicing since the fall of 2008, and many teams participated in fall tournaments. The Diamonds 16U and 18U teams participated in some of the most regarded College Exposure Tournaments in the country, sending the two 16U teams and the 18U team to the St. Louis Softball Showcase, the NFCA Homer Hawks College Exposure Extravaganza and the Sparks Pumpkin Fest College Exposure.

Throughout the winter months, players practiced weekly as teams, as well as separately with hitting, catching and pitching instructors. Many of the players attended local college camps and some out-of-state camps (Michigan State, Purdue, Kentucky, Northwestern, Loyola and Florida State University). The ’96 Wasco Diamonds team participated in the 14U “A” USSSA Winter Nationals in Kissimmee, Fla. over Presidents Day Weekend, bringing home a fourth-place finish. With the opening of the IHSA softball season, four teams have ended winter practices. Wasco Diamond teammates are for now rivals — North vs. East, South vs. Central and will have to wait to re-join each other until the early part of June after the IHSA State Tournament.

While the younger ages continue to practice indoors, the organization is finalizing the 2009 Wasco Diamonds Fastpitch Classic, held May 22-24, for the 10U, 12U and 14U age groups. Over 30 teams from Northern Illinois will participate, and the tournament has been full since the last week of January.

The Diamonds officially open the 2009 season on April 11 at noon at the Anderson Fields on Brown Road in Wasco. The public is invited to come out and watch, feel the excitement, energy and enthusiasm of these young athletes. For more schedule information and for 2010 tryout information, visit the website at www.wascodiamonds.com.