Sheppard men’s varsity softball team makes a statement in Lackland

Sheppard Senators, Sheppard Air Force Base men's varsity softball team
Back row (left to right): Ronald Brown, 363rd Training Squadron; Staff Sgt. Justin Hamby, 362nd Training Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Kyle Beisner, 364th Training Squadron; Staff Sgt. Patrick Gordon, 361st Training Squadron; Master Sgt. Steven Clinton, 982nd Maintenance Squadron; Senior Airman Ryan Ashley, 82nd Aerospace Medical Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Ryan McCune, 361st Training Squadron; Staff Sgt. Carlos House, U.S. Army retired

Front row (left to right): Master Sgt. Michael Smith, 82nd Medical Operations Squadron; Senior Airman Desomnd Greer, 82nd Medical Operations Squadron; Staff Sgt. Matthew Brown, 361st Training Squadron; Staff Sgt. Andrew Purshock, 362nd Training Squadron; Miguel Aguilar, 82nd Force Support Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Vincent Lopez, 365th Training Squadron

Sheppard Senators, Sheppard Air Force Base men's varsity softball team Back row (left to right): Ronald Brown, 363rd Training Squadron; Staff Sgt. Justin Hamby, 362nd Training Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Kyle Beisner, 364th Training Squadron; Staff Sgt. Patrick Gordon, 361st Training Squadron; Master Sgt. Steven Clinton, 982nd Maintenance Squadron; Senior Airman Ryan Ashley, 82nd Aerospace Medical Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Ryan McCune, 361st Training Squadron; Staff Sgt. Carlos House, U.S. Army retired Front row (left to right): Master Sgt. Michael Smith, 82nd Medical Operations Squadron; Senior Airman Desomnd Greer, 82nd Medical Operations Squadron; Staff Sgt. Matthew Brown, 361st Training Squadron; Staff Sgt. Andrew Purshock, 362nd Training Squadron; Miguel Aguilar, 82nd Force Support Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Vincent Lopez, 365th Training Squadron

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- --

Sheppard Air Force Base’s varsity softball team finished in the top three during the Commander’s Cup weekend softball tournament at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

The men’s varsity team for Sheppard, known as the Sheppard Senators, finished third out of 18 total teams comprised of players from all military branches of the Department of Defense.

The tournament took place April 1-3, and the Senators completed a total of nine games over the three-day tournament.

“Calling us underdogs would be putting it mildly,” said Dr. Ronald Brown, 363rd Training Squadron training development and element chief and Sheppard Senators’ co-captain. “Although our team is collectively young, we played like seasoned veterans, beating some extremely talented and respected teams.”

During the same tournament last year, the Senators went 0-3 and “came back home honestly embarrassed,” said Senior Airman Desmond Greer, 82nd Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician and Sheppard Senators’ co-captain. “With this being our first military tournament of the year, we didn’t know what to expect.”

Greer added that because his teammates remembered those feelings from last year’s tournament they were determined not to let that happen again.

That determination seemed to pay off.

One of their wins included their victory over the 2015 United States Specialty Sports Association World Military Tournament champions, the Lackland AFB men’s varsity team.

The Senators let everyone know they came ready to compete when they upset the defending champions with a score of 14-11, said Greer.

“A win against the current reigning World Military Champions on their home field speaks volumes about the team’s potential going forward,” Brown said.

The Senators’ placement in the tournament, however, was not the only skill that people seemed to notice.

“The tournament director made a point to state how impressed he was with not only the team’s playing ability, but the highest level of professionalism,” Brown said.

Brown said the professionalism of the Senators on and off the field in combination with the high morale of the team is what helps drive them towards the goal of winning the 2016 USSSA World Military Tournament.

 “If you want to talk about morale, this team has it,” said Greer. “Although we placed third, our best placing yet, this team is still hungry to win and our goal isn’t accomplished until we win Military World’s this year.”

The Senators have more military tournaments to come throughout their season, including the 2016 USSSA World Military Tournament in August in Columbus, Georgia.