2016 FARMERSVILLE HAYMAKERS, 2016 NAFA World Series, AA-Division Champions: The team includes James Gilbert, Dustin Rutt, Fernando Lombardo, Brandon Rutt, Justin Zimmerman, Kliff Zimmerman, Jerlin Rutt, Duane Weiler, Rich Sauder, Phil Zimmerman, Jake Rutt, Logan Rutt, Matt Sheaffer and coach Merlin High. Courtesy Photo
“The beginning of year it took us awhile to bond as a team and we weren’t playing the best, but by the end of the year we meshed as a team and finished out strong. It was a fun ride!” – Haymakers coach Merlin High
EPHRATA, PA – Average. Ordinary. Mediocre. Not the kind of tags competitive athletes or teams want to be labeled with. It means you’re OK, but you’ve done nothing to distinguish yourself.
That was the kind of season the Farmersville Haymakers were having, hovering around .500, finishing third at 13-12 in the Stevens’ Northend Softball League, third in the league playoffs…you get the picture.
As coach Merlin High said, at the start of the year, “we weren’t playing the best.”
But as the sporting cliché goes: it’s not how you start, but how you finish that counts. And what a finish, what a stunning turnaround the Haymakers pulled off.
WEILER CLICKS, WINNING STREAK STARTS
And it all started at the NAFA World Series in North Mankato, Minnesota where the Haymakers delivered some big blows to go 5-0 and win the AA-Division championship.
“Things started to click at the start of the NAFA World Series,” said player / pitcher Justin Zimmerman.
And in fastpitch, “to click” starts with pitching. And with Duane Weiler as a late- season addition, the Haymakers fortunes shot upward like a NASA rocket.