Challenger Division increases numbers

Published 8:19 am Thursday, July 15, 2004

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Vigilant/Argus
Dowagiac Little League's Challenger Division wrapped up its second season on Saturday with an All-Star Game and awards ceremony at Russom Field.
The league, which formed in 2003, had 24 players compete this season.
On Saturday, just as every other time the league took the field, the players hit the ball, ran the bases and fielded the ball while having a grand time.
It doesn't matter who wins or loses these games because in the end, everyone is a winner.
The Challenger Division is open to children and young adults who have physical or cognitive disabilities.
Parents cheer, not only for their own children, but for the other players as well.
For those players who need them, "buddies" are assigned to assist them on the field.
Adam said that the reason she got involved with the Challenger Division was because of her daughter.
All players are allowed to swing until they make contact with the ball off a tee and then head off to first base. Those who want to have the ball pitched to them may.
The squad which is in the field after the play is completed, throws the ball around until everyone has touched it.
The league was the brain child of Adam and Diane Schultz of the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District.
The league, which doubled in size this past season, was able through donations, to purchase uniforms, team photographs and trophies.
Those donations also allowed the Challenger Division to provide scholarships for families who could not afford the $35 fee.
Anyone who wishes to donate to the league for next season may do so by contacting Adam at 445-8739.
Adam said that watching these games and watching the parents has been a lot of fun.
The division's fan base has grown with each and every contest.
That means the Challenger Division has not only provided an opportunity for its players to compete in sports, and to interact with their peers, but has helped provide life lessons as well.