In the Fishers Express 8-and-under baseball team’s first tournament, the team lost every game. In each one, the game ended because of the 10-run rule.
“That was exactly six months ago from our recent championship,” Fishers Express coach Jeff Dawson said. Dylan Morris and Chris Erghott served as the team’s assistant coaches.
The Fishers Express 8U team won the United States Specialty Sports Association Fall Grand Super Bullpen Tournament at Westfield’s Grand Park by beating Smithville Scrappers 17-15 in the Oct. 2 championship. Fishers Express beat Clay County Junior Knights 15-7 in the semifinal game.
“We teach attitude, effort and focus,” Dawson said. “The boys really bought into these principles and allowed their talent to guide them. They have put a lot of work in, mostly learning the game of baseball. What I’m most proud of is the attitudes of these boys. They are a great group, and all have each other’s back. They call each other brothers, it’s impressive to see at this age.”
The team began playing in February and overcame some early losses.
Dawson, who grew up in Fishers, played Little League baseball for Fishers. Now, his son, Drew, plays second base for the Fishers team.
“We are a community-based league who often competes against higher-rated teams,” Dawson said. “Community-based is 2A and true travel teams with players from all over play 3A. This is what made this recent tournament championship special. We were able to beat a 3A team who was ranked No. 1 in 3A. This, after they had beaten us the three previous meetings.”
The bond the team formed was important to its success.
“The boys have all grown very close over the past eight months,” Dawson said. “Many are classmates at local elementary schools. In fact, we have five who all live in the Avalon neighborhood and attend Thorpe Creek Elementary.”
The boys are mostly second-graders and three are still only 7 years old.
Dawson said the families of the 12 players have formed friendships as well.
“(The families) are all so supportive and have grown closer through baseball,” he said. “It has brought a group of families together and helped create some long-lasting friendships, I’m sure. We will also be volunteering as a team in the community and would love businesses of Fishers as well as the city to help identify volunteer and service opportunities. We want baseball to teach life lessons.”