Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- The Twin Ports Rampage U-14 softball team thought it had simply been invited to a national tournament in Oklahoma. This week, everything in that state changed and so did the team's focus.
"We'd love to go play softball, but there are more important things than softball," said Head Coach Stewart Goldberg.
The Rampage, who play almost 70 games a year, are headed to Oklahoma City late Wednesday night to participate in the USSSA National Challenge Tournament.
"I think the girls feel a little fortunate for what we have and that fact that we don't have many tornadoes," Goldberg said.
Despite the recent events, the tournament will still go on as scheduled, and the team plans to help in anyway they can.
"We're planning on loading our bus up and bringing food and water and blankets and whatever else is asked for," said Goldberg.
"It's a bad thing that happened so we want to help out so they can get back to playing softball too," said eighth-grader Allie Thul.
They're also planning on being at the tournament two days before it starts, but Goldberg said it'll be a lot for the girls to take in.
"I don't see any of them being able to handle it very well to be honest with you. We're going to have to do some talking with them and prepare them for it."
As for playing well under such difficult circumstances, Goldberg's not worried.
"There's no handbook for how to handle tragedy like that and keep the girls motivated, but they're competitors. Once they get on the field and get in the dirt, they'll be ready to play."
The Superior–based team has been preparing for this tournament for almost a year, but the group made up of 13 and 14–year–olds plans on dedicating the week to someone else.
"We're going to play for them," said eighth-grader Erika Olson. "We're going to put this out there for them. Like this is for you, but we're going to do it for Oklahoma City."
Posted by Sarah Wheeler