Fort Johnson American All-Star team celebrates successful season

Published 10:14 am Saturday, September 16, 2023

By Angie Thorne | Special to the Leesville Leader

The smell of fresh cut grass; the feel of the sun beating down on your shoulders; the sound of an umpire calling a strike and the sight of a well hit line drive merge to make your senses pop as they create the perfect picture of summer baseball.

The reality of those experiences, whether you’re playing ball or watching it, has led to stellar year for Child and Youth Services Fort Johnson American All-Star team.

Brian Lowman, head coach, said the kids and their parent put their heart into the team.

“The team sometimes practiced 5 times a week to prepare for the season,” Lowman said.

The All-Star team was comprised of 11 boys and 1 girl, ages 7 and 8. As an All-Star team, the players were nominated by there regular season coach. The all-star team was represented by at least one player from each of the five regular season teams.

The team had a successful year. They competed in the sub-district tournament with a record of three wins and two losses and placing second in the tournament. This qualified the team for the district tournament in Ville Plate, Louisiana. They finished with a record of 2-2, placed fourth and qualified for the state tournament in New Orleans, where 24 teams from across the state competed in a round robin tournament. The Fort Johnson American All-Star team played a total of three games at the tournament.

Kids and parents were thrilled about winning said the All-Star team was a great experience for them.

Many of the soldiers and their families were in the process of moving during the All-Star season. It didn’t stop them from participating.

“We had parents drive back and forth from Fort Stewart to participate in this All-Star experience. Soldiers were deferring their orders and commanders were letting Soldiers off to participate from as far as Fort Stewart, Georgia,” Lowman said. “This is a big event. An All-Star team has never been done before with this age group in the Army. The kids and their Families working together made this happen. It was amazing to watch this great baseball family with players from across country and parents of all different ranks come together,” Lowman said.

Players who participated on the All-Star team mastered a variety of baseball and life skills.

“They learned things like respect, dedication, motivation, a sense of team and how to support one another,” Lowman said. “The community off the installation also embraced us and showed great support.”

Lowman said he was proud of every parent, kid and coach, not to mention the support from Fort Johnson’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Child and Youth Services.