Athens, Troy and LNW softball teams keep swagger in four-team league

By: Mike Moore | Troy Times | Published August 2, 2012

TROY — The 2012 high school softball season ended in the second week of June with the crowning of four state champs on a hot and humid Saturday afternoon in Battle Creek.

While the temperature has only gotten hotter, high school softball continues during the summer.

“It’s the second year we’ve run the league, featuring four teams and playing throughout the week depending on field availability and people being in town,” said Troy Athens coach Dave Marr, who runs the summer games. Athens, Troy High, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest and a team of girls from throughout different areas make up the league. “The goal is to just keep them active during summer. Not every girl is on a travel or elite team, so the ones that want to stay involved have a chance to with this league.”

Marr said there are 16 girls on the Athens team ranging from sophomore to senior grade level when the fall starts.

He, however, is not their coach.

“They need a break from me,” he said with a laugh. “I step back and let the dads take over.”

Troy coach Tom Calnen does the same thing.

“Whatever dad wants to coach that specific game gets to,” he said. “I’m not usually there. I mean, I follow it, and I know what’s going on, but summer time is a little different with family life and other things I have to do. At the same time, this league is another opportunity for kids who may not have a summer team to play on to get some touches and get some more game action, and that’s awesome.”

Lutheran Northwest coach Jeff Ludwig said the summer ball is an opportunity his girls thrive on.

“I think it’s extremely beneficial for everyone,” he said. “It gives us a chance to get a little more seasoning, along with helping us to fill the holes left by the seniors who’ve moved on. Especially for a small school like us, it’s great to see some strong competition for a couple more months.”

Unlike Marr and Calnen, though, Ludwig prefers to stay right in the action and coach the team all summer.

“I also see it as a chance for me to become a better coach,” he said. “So I think being there and being part of it helps me as much as it helps them.”