The Monroe County Herald Team of the Week is the Sparta Red U10 softball team.
Sparta Red is part of the Parks and Recreation Department U10 Tomah-cooperative league. They play games in either Tomah or Sparta every Tuesday and hold practice on Thursday.
There are currently 11 girls on the team. The girls do pitch in this league, but if they throw three balls in a row or hit a batter, the batting team’s coach comes in to pitch to that batter. Other that that, and the absence of stealing bases, all of the regular fastpitch softball rules apply.
Sparta Red head coach Tim Dearman feels the practices are the most important aspect of this league, because that’s when the girls work on the fundamentals required to play.
Dearman says the stuff they practice is very “bare bones.”
He emphasizes the little things, like running through first base or getting in front of the ball when fielding.
Outside of the fundamentals, Dearman’s main focus for the girls is sportsmanship, leadership and respect.
“Totally sportsmanship - that’s obviously the first thing. I like to see leadership; I like to see them be respectful to coaches and other players, stuff like that,” he said. “All of that stuff we try to instill and to try to watch.”
They do keep score in this league and Sparta Red has come out on top in both games it has played so far this season.
“I want to see them progress as individuals in a team sport. Winning and losing does not matter to me one bit, but the kids like to win. Even when I don’t keep score, they do,” he concluded with a grin.

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