Enquirer Herald

York-Clover dugout double-take

As a longtime observer of York and Clover high school sports, I thought I had seen it all until the Lady Cougar Invitational Softball Tournament debuted.

Though the event began at 8 a.m. last Tuesday, this columnist decided to catch the action as the tournament was winding down.

So I drove to Clover for a 2:30 p.m. game on the CHS softball diamond.

It had rained earlier in the day but the sun had broken through and there was softball to be played.

While leaning over the fence to the right of the visitors' dugout, a good view of the game without facing the sun, I suddenly noticed that the York Comprehensive High School Lady Cougars were occupying Clover's home dugout.

"Wait a minute," I mumbled to myself while doing a double take. "What's going on here?"

I looked over my right shoulder where York fans normally would be seated to watch the "visiting" Lady Cougars.

But no. There were Indian Land fans in those bleachers. York fans were seated (get ready for this) in the bleachers normally occupied by the Lady Blue Eagle faithful.

The concession stand was manned by Clover volunteers wearing Blue Eagle attire.

After watching Indian Land defeat the YCHS girls, I hustled back to York to catch the action and find out when the championship game would be played.

Upon my arrival, I glanced into the York dugout and lo and behold, Clover coach Shea Hall and the Lady Blue Eagles were nestled into their rival's domain.

Okay, that's it, I declared to myself. Back to the Prozac.

I figured such craziness had to be one of the following scenarios:

A: The York and Clover teams were playing at the wrong locations.

B: The Clover and York coaches were plotting to rid this columnist of what little sense of awareness I have left.

C. It was a figment of my imagination.

D. None of the above.

Actually, it was none of the above. It was two coaches pooling their resources to make this a one-day tournament.

"We had originally scheduled the tournament for two days," noted YCHS coach Nickie Templeton. "In order to cut down on travel costs for the participating teams, we decided to make it a one-day tournament."

Templeton said all of the teams (Clover, Lancaster, Indian Land, Chester and Buford) were cooperative, especially Clover.

"Coach Hall's willingness to allow games to be played on their field allowed us to complete the tournament in one day," Templeton said. "Shea and her staff worked as hard as we did preparing their fields for play even though they weren't hosting the tournament.

"It shows a lot about the character they have."

It wasn't the first time Templeton and Hall have worked together to promote girls' softball.

The rival coaches co-sponsored a softball camp last summer, attracting 50 participants. They are planning more joint efforts, including a Lake Wylie camp and a weeklong camp in July.

While last week's event is a true indication of two coaches pulling together to enhance the sport, occupying the other team's dugout is rather unique.

It also afforded this columnist a futile attempt at assuming the role of humorist.

Said Casey Killian, a senior standout for the Lady Blue Eagles, "I never thought our team would be using York's dugout. It's pretty cool."