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MASTERS SOFTBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

By EDDIE SIGUENZA

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — The place is called Big League Dreams, and it’s here where Guam was ceremoniously honored Oct. 7 in the 2017 Las Vegas Senior Softball Association/United States Senior Softball Association World Masters Championship.

Five Guam masters softball squads took center stage and each was presented Sportsmanship Awards in front of a vocal, supportive crowd — something that happens every time a Guam team steps onto one of eight fields at this Big League Dreams complex.

The honor was a first for Guam, which has sent 40-years-and-older softball squads each of the past six world tournaments. Per tournament organizers, every time a Guam team comes here, it brings the largest and loudest group of supporters.

“Every year we try to find one team to present this honor. This year was an easy choice,” said Fran Dowell, executive director, USA Senior Softball. “We couldn’t give it to just one team. We had to give it to the entire island.”

Dowell was quick to note that never before has USASS acknowledged a team such as they way they did, when they called five Guam teams to the playing field. Each received a sportsmanship plaque, and each player was awarded a medal.

“Last year there was a Guam team that was losing late in the game and this entire group came out and cheered them on,” said Dowell, pointing to the spectators holding Guam flags. “That touched our hearts. That meant a lot to our organization. We wanted so much to say thank you to Guam for all the support they’re giving to this sport.”

“I think everyone wants to play against Guam because there’s always a crowd,” said Martin Otero of Sudden Impact (New Mexico). “Guam has plenty of support. We don’t get crowds like this back home and even if people show up, they’re not as cheerful.”

Check out some photos of the 2017 World Masters Championships from

Sindalu Guahan’s Jesse Aguon, left, and John Leon Guerrero display their Sportsmanship Trophy Fran Dowell, center, executive director of United States Senior Softball Association, Oct. 7 during the 2017 U.S. Senior Softball World Masters Championship in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Fran Dowell, center, executive director of United States Senior Softball Association, awards the Sportsmanship Trophy to the managers of Guam’s FIGO Islanders women’s 40-above team Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

The Guam Armed Forces masters softball team displays their Sportsmanship Trophy they earned Oct. 7 during the 2017 U.S. Senior Softball World Masters Championship in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam masters softball team displays its Sportsmanship Trophy earned Oct. 7 during the 2017 U.S. Senior Softball World Masters Championship in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Las

Vegas by Eddie Siguenza

Alvin Fejeran, manager of Guam masters softball Team Sotta, receives the Sportsmanship Award from United States Senior Softball executive director Fran Dowell during an Oct. 7 ceremony at the Big League Dreams Softball Complex, Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Guam masters softball Team Sotta was one of five Guam squads honored by the United States Senior Softball Association Oct. 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the 2017 U.S. Senior Softball World Masters Championship. Guam was ceremoniously recognized with sportsmanship trophies, marking an historic honor by the senior softball association. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

The Guam women’s masters softball 50-over squad wave Guam flags while being recognized by the United States Senior Softball Association Oct. 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Benjie Pangelinan eyes a pitch against Vanguard Softball (Washington) during the 2017 2017 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Softball Championship Men’s AAA Division Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Pat Alvarez left, starts the tail end of a double play against Hammertime during the 2017 2017 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Softball Championship Men’s AAA Division Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. Alvarez got the toss from Keith Hattig, right. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Mike Cepeda eyes a pitch against Vanguard Softball (Washington) during the 2017 2017 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Softball Championship Men’s AAA Division Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Joe Rivera rounds third base and scores while base coach Peter Aguon watches the play against Vanguard Softball (Washington) during the 2017 2017 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Softball Championship Men’s AAA Division Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Bud Light Guam’s Jarvis Quenga pitches against Hammertime during the 2017 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Softball Championship Men’s AAA Division Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Sindalu Guahan during their 22-19 comeback victory over the Arizona Aces during the 2017 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Softball Championship Men’s AAA Division Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Sindalu Guahan’s Paul Taisipic runs from second base in a 23-13 win over the Arizona Aces during the 2017 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Softball Championship Men’s AAA Division Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

Sindalu Guahan during their 22-19 comeback victory over the Arizona Aces during the 2017 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Softball Championship Men’s AAA Division Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Eddie Siguenza)

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