Dawn Bohuslavky, head coach of the David City Diamonds 10 & Under girls fast pitch softball team, knew she had a talented group when the girls came together in April. Just how talented though, had yet to be determined.
Two months later, the Diamonds are 18-0 after winning the district tournament June 9 in Bennington, the first district title for the team since 2012. The Diamonds are now preparing for the USA Softball Class C state championship this weekend in Hastings.
Several members of this year's 18 & Under David City Blue Blaze made up the roster for the Diamonds seven years ago. They recently took fourth place at the Class B USA Softball tournament June 16.
"Last year we were pretty good," Bohuslavsky said. "We got second at districts. We have an older team this year, so I figured we could be pretty good. I didn't know if we would be undefeated, but I knew we could be pretty good."
Bohuslavsky has been coaching since 2007, and said this is one of the most well-rounded teams in those 13 seasons.
"To be honest, we have all aspects," she said. "We have good pitching, a good catcher, good defense and good batters, and we're very fast on the bases - very good base running, literally all aspects. I've never had a team with strength in all aspects of the game."
Dawn started coaching when her two older daughters, Valerie and Vanessa, were in tee-ball. She now coaches her younger daughter, Dani.
Multiple assistant coaches have also played a role in helping the Diamonds get to this point - Tracy Behrns, Jason Campbell, Angie Vandenberg and Jodi Andel.
Now that the team has won districts, Bohuslavsky said the Diamonds' goal is to win the state tournament. David City earned one of two first round byes in the 30-team bracket. The other was the Sports Express from Milford.
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The Diamonds open play on Friday at 7 p.m. against the winner of the O'Neill Galaxy and the Gresham Blackbirds. The tournament runs through Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. for the championship series.
The Diamonds started practicing in April but were competing against teams that had been practicing since January.
Not only was David City competing against teams that had been training much longer, but many of those teams are select teams that pick and choose the roster. The Diamonds, on the other hand, are located in a rural area without the population base of many of their opponents.
Regardless, the level of competition doesn't seem to have affected the Diamonds level of success. If anything, it adds motivation for some of the players.
One of the players on the Diamonds, Kambri Andel, said she is looking forward to seeing some of those opponents at state.
"I'm excited to play more competitive teams to see how well we do," she said.
Another player, Kamryn Behrns, said the team success has to do with hard work.
"We never actually thought about winning the big tournaments, but we worked hard and won," she said.
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net