It took nearly ten years but the 60 AAA Central Illinois Chiefs finally won a SPA World Championship capturing the title September 7-10 in Dalton, Georgia.
“It has been a long time coming but is worth the wait,” Chief spokesman Mike Chamness said. “Every year we thought we could do it but a bad bounce or something always seemed to cut us short. This year we got all the bounces and breaks.”
The champs ran the table in bracket play beating Atlanta Recycling twice 19-18 and 14-8 to take the title. Earlier bracket wins were 22-7 over KC Thunder, 18-4 Georgia’s Columbus LX and, Georgia’s GAS Softball 13-10.
They went 2-1 in pool play downing Boys of Summer (Tn) 23-13 and Seasoned Veterans 23-13 before losing 17-18 to Columbus LX.
The Chiefs are unique in the fact they do not have one manager or two managers they have four.
Mike Barton was the SPA 65 AAA Manager of the Year but he was ably assisted by Britt Edwards, Chamness and Dan Hittmeier.
Central Illinois short stop Joe Ferguson was Tournament MVP. Selected to the All-American AllStar team were Lonnie Netzell, Bart Wills, Britt Edwards, Kevin Kronst and Greg Finigan..
Team members are: Netzel, Bart Wills, Randy McEldowney, Hittmeier, Edwards, Cliff Krueger, Mike Henry, Chamness, Barton, Kronst, Finigan. Ferguson, Jed Bunyan, Kevin Blakeman and Jeff Huston.
Following the Chiefs were 2. Atlanta Recycling, 3. Boys of Summer, 4 GAS Softball, 5. Cincinnati 60’s, 5. Seasoned Veterans, 7. KC Thunder, 7. Columbus LX, 9. Carolina Patriots, 9. RPR Softball and 9. (By) Grace Redeemed.