WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The FCA will hold softball and baseball All Star games on June 15th in Iowa Park. FCA Area Director Turner Schwarz saw a opportunity to make this happen when he first got to the area.
"The Fellowship of Christian Athletes does all star games all over the state of Texas," Schwarz explained. "So Abilene does a big football game, East Texas does some football and volleyball, Waco does a baseball game and stuff. So when I moved here a couple of years ago it was something that this area would love to do if we did baseball and softball. And so it took two years to kind of rally up the support behind it, but it was a big big vision in the making and it's finally coming forth this summer."
Despite football being king in the state of Texas, Schwarz wanted student athletes from other sports to also get a chance to showcase their skills, talents and hard work.
"What we want to do is give the kids that worked real hard in baseball and softball for, you know, 10 or 12 years, and give them one last chance to go out with a bang," Schwarz said. "It was cool when I was calling all these coaches and letting them know what we were going to be doing. It was overwhelming me like, 'Oh man we need to do that, how come we are not doing that?' I mean it was literally like excitement, 100% positivity so that's been incredible."
For the softball game, Hirschi coach Jeff Pirkle will coach the East and City View's Charlie Stone will coach the West. On the baseball side Quanah's Kevin Bartley will coach the East and Iowa Park's Michael Swenson will coach the West. Having really good local coaches for the game was something the FCA really wanted to accomplish.
"Coach Swenson was kind of our go-to and it's coincided with a incredible run that Iowa Park is having in the playoffs right now," Schwarz said. "But coach Swenson has coached in multiple all star games before, coach Bartley who was at Olney, going to Quanah next year, he's coached in multiple all star games. Coach Pirkle, these guys they know what they are doing and we couldn't ask for better coaches honestly."
The FCA would like this game to become a long standing tradition for Texoma, kind of like the Oil Bowl.
"Man, if I'm here for 50 years, that's a blessing if this thing is still going in 50 years," Schwarz said. "But Abilene's been doing their Victory Bowl for 20-plus years, and East Texas has been doing their all star games for 10 plus years. And so this is something that we are not just trying to do it this summer. Obviously it's going to be a lot of fun, but this is something that we are planning for the future, still keeping it going."
Along with the all star games the student athletes will be treated to a banquet the day before where they will be honored for being a part of the game and receive a plaque. The games will be Friday, June 15 on Iowa Park's new fields. The softball game will start at 6 p.m. and the baseball game will be at 7:30 p.m.