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All-City Softball is out

Little League organization shuts down but could return

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All-City Softball is out

Despite good participation and success on the field, All-City Softball Little League was shut down for this season without a president to lead the way.

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED June 6, 2009 2:30 a.m.
While its Little League brothers are wrapping up their baseball seasons in the area, All-City Softball has yet to start.

And it won’t, said Little League District 67 president Bill Faulkner, who helped establish the league in 2001.

Faulkner and his sisters, Penny Jones and Sherry Scharmann, have rotated the league’s presidency since its inception.

Faulkner said Scharmann, the first and last to serve as president, felt incapable of fulfilling her duties to the league with her daughter playing three sports and graduating from high school this year.

“We thought they had somebody in place to take over, but it never materialized,” Faulkner said. “Sherry had a lot of people who said they can help, but she needed someone who can take over and lead. It’s really like a full-time job from December to August, so that’s not an easy decision for anyone to make.

The Manteca Youth Softball Association absorbed many of All-City’s former players this season, which ended last week.

But with All-City out of the picture, there are no other affordable options for players from Ripon, Manteca and Lathrop. Lathrop Little League had its own softball program before merging with All-City two years ago.

There are many travel ball programs in the area, but tournament trips can be costly.

“At All-City’s high point, we had more than 400 kids out,” Faulkner said. “A lot of other leagues right now are down because of the economy, but in recent years All-City was one of the biggest Little Leagues around.

All-City was a consistent force in postseason tournaments, with three junior division all-star teams advancing as far as the Little League World Series Western Regionals. Last year’s senior all-stars were a step away from making the World Series, finishing second at regionals.

Faulkner hopes the league can be revived next season. He is in his third of a three-year term as District 67’s president and is debating about serving a second. He said that District 67 will still have a Tournament of Champions and all-star playoffs with Salida and Patterson fielding softball teams.

“It’s disheartening,” Faulkner said. “We put so much time and effort into the league just for it to not be there. Sometimes I question myself: ‘Should I have stayed?’ My options now are to remain president at the district level, or to come back next year and help bring All-City back.”
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