Circle Tap seeks to repeat in NAFA Open

Written by Bob on June 12th, 2013

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Ten of the world’s top teams will battle for the championship in the NAFA Open – Holm Classic men’s fastpitch tournament at Fargo’s Lindenwood Park, June 14-16.

“We are happy to be a part of it and we look to repeat. Anything less, well it will be a kick in the pants.” – Circle Tap field manager Chad Huebner

FARGO, ND – The Circle Tap Dukes of Denmark, Wisconsin won the 2012 NAFA Open World Series championship. And they’re back again seeking a repeat in the NAFA Open – Holm Classic Tournament in Fargo, June 14 to 16.

Circle Tap comes into the tournament with a talented ball club ranked No. 8 in the world of men’s fastpitch softball.

Dukes field manager Chad Huebner knows that a high ranking and the title of “defending champs” might earn you respect for what you’ve done in the past.

But lofty rankings and past honors mean little in the here-and-now. Not when nine hungry and talented, championship-seeking ball clubs want to rip that crown off your head.

“Being the (NAFA Open) champs from 2012 (5-1), comes with a target on our backs,” said Huebner. “So we will have to get hot and stay hot with consistency in our pitching and hitting, and we will have to play stellar defense.”

    STRONG PITCHING

In the circle, the Dukes will rely on veteran Rob Schweyer and 21-year-old Australian, Joel “Harry” Goodall.

“Robbie Schweyer is in prime form and asked to carry a heavy load of innings,” Huebner said. “A hockey player by trait, he welcomes any and all challenges. They (Schweyer and Goodall) have two different styles and will be pushing each other when the other is not on the stripe.”

And those two hurlers must perform well if the Dukes are to hold off a formidable field, including the likes of the Sooke Loggers (ranked No. 15 in the world), who pushed the Dukes to the limit before falling 9-8 in last year’s championship.

    TOUGH FIELD

“This year is just as tough by adding the Minnesota Angels (St. Paul) and Winnipeg,” Huebner said. “And coming back and stronger are the Loggers, Kegal (Black Knights of Fargo), Diamondbacks (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), and the West Fargo Knights look upgraded again.”

Circle Tap, which can also lay claim to a co-championship crown in a NAFA Open, has just the right blend of talent in its lineup, added Huebner, saying: “ We have a gelled mix of up-and-coming youth players and seasoned vets who will lead us on the field.”

    PETRIC, KEY ADDITION

A new addition to the ball club is Fernando Petric from Argentina who plays the outfield. “(Petric) is a late added bonus who will light our lineup with his spark,” Huebner said of his fleet-footed outfielder who played for the Minnesota Angels in 2012, and among his honors, was selected the Most Valuable Hitter of the 2012 Boys of Summer Invitational Tournament in Denmark.

Circle Tap will also be counting on Argentinian German Sacks, who in the 2012 Open drove in five runs along with belting five home runs; Australian Ryan Sinclair, who scored five runs, had a .318 average and drilled two homers, and also Kyle Magnuson with his .389 average and five runs.

Playing the tournament in Fargo, says Huebner, is an honor since the city has a revered history in men’s fastpitch, which has carried on while other areas have seen the sport fall by the wayside.

“Still to this day Fargo produces teams, leagues and this great tournament,” he said. “We are happy to be a part of it and we look to repeat. Anything less, well it will be a kick in the pants.”

The Dukes open play on Friday in Pool A, which includes Randy’s A’s of British Columbia Canada; the Minnesota Angels; Topeka Toros, Topeka, KS, and Rooters Bar of Fargo.

The 2013 Circle Tap Dukes:
Tom Crouch, infield, DeKalb, IL
Chris DeLarwelle, Utility, Denmark, WI
Joel Goodall, pitcher, utility, Victoria, Australia
Ryan Sinclair, infield, Victoria, Australia
Lewis Weldon, utility, Melbourne, Australia
German Sacks, Parana, Argentina
Jim Corbett, outfield, Green Bay, WI
Rob Schweyer, pitcher, utility, Danville, IL
Justin Colombo, outfield, Appleton, WI
Todd Malnory, outfield, Menasha, WI
Bryan Hansen, catcher, Denmark, WI
Kyle Magusson, infield, Cedar City, UT
Bill Miller, infield, Denmark, WI
Chad Huebner, utility, Appleton, WI
Fernando Petric, outfield, Argentian

The coaching staff includes field manager Chad Huebner, coaches Kevin Schumacher and Dean Kane. Sponsoring the team are Darren Derricks and Mark Miller.

See Fargo Moorhead Fastpitch for all tournament information.

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