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CV-Foothill rivalry placed aside for Junior All-Star run

Softball: CVFH Junior All-Stars joined forces to reach Western Regional Tournament.

August 01, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Crescenta Valley-Footill Junior All-Star softball team coaches, from left, Drummond Schaffer, Will Thayer and Tyson Howard talk with the team before it headed to Arizona for the Western Regional Tournament, which starts Thursday.
Crescenta Valley-Footill Junior All-Star softball… (Mike Mullen )

Dave Ritchie had to take a picture of the Crescenta Valley-Foothill Junior All-Star softball team jerseys when he first saw them. He had never seen both leagues represented on one jersey before.

No one had.

In Ritchie's 15 years as the District 16 volunteer administrator he'd often attempted to convince CV and Foothill league coaches to join forces, but the idea was never received warmly because of the rivalry between the two leagues.

"The coolest thing for me is seeing Crescenta Valley-Foothill across their jerseys," Ritchie said. "I actually took a picture of it and sent it to one of my friends, who used to be a Foothill League official, and asked if he would have ever thought he would see this day."

CVFH has yet to lose since it debuted in the Section 2 Tournament on July 14. CVFH won the Section 2 title with 8-0, 7-0 and 13-9 wins and dominated the Division III Tournament with 10-0, 10-2 and 9-0 marks before it knocked off host Westchester Del Rey in the championship with a walk-off, 5-4, victory on July 26.

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In doing so, CVFH became the first District 16 Junior All-Star softball team to advance to Western Regionals since another merged team — Foothill-Tujunga — did so around 2000.

Ritchie said this is the first time any CV and Foothill teams have paired up for an all-star run, but there was plenty of motivation for both leagues to put the rivalry aside this year.

First of all, numbers for both leagues had taken a dive.

Secondly, both leagues had come close, but were unable to advance past the Southern California Division III Tournament. CV and Foothill had both suffered defeats in the championship round of their respective Junior and Major division tournaments to see their 2011 seasons end.

Still, combining both teams didn't seem a possibility until after the 2012 season began.

"No, I wouldn't have thought [combining teams] was possible a year ago," said CVFH and former Foothill Coach Tyson Howard.

Foothill Coach Todd Fabian and CVFH and CV Manager Drummond Schaffer began to discuss the possibility of teaming up for a Junior All-Star run during the 2012 season to help both teams get over the Division III hump and into regionals.

"Let's see what we can do together," Schaffer said of the mind set behind teaming up. "We definitely set our goal to take it one game at a time to the championship round and to get past divisionals where both teams had taken second place last year."

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