Senators climb to number one in Varsity ‘B’ military softball power rankings

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

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

Staff Sgt. Matthew Brown, 361st Training Squadron, and Master Sgt. Junicio Cacal, 82nd Aerospace Medical Squadron, prepare to field a hit at military softball tournament in Colorado, June 13, 2016. The Sheppard Senators, Sheppard Air Force Base's men's varsity softball team, ranks first out of 57 Varsity 'B' military teams from around the country.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Brown, 361st Training Squadron, and Master Sgt. Junicio Cacal, 82nd Aerospace Medical Squadron, prepare to field a hit at military softball tournament in Colorado, June 13, 2016. The Sheppard Senators, Sheppard Air Force Base's men's varsity softball team, ranks first out of 57 Varsity 'B' military teams from around the country.

Miguel Aguilar, 82nd Force Support Squadron, hits a shot to the left side at a military softball tournament in Colorado, June 13, 2016. The Sheppard Senators, Sheppard Air Force Base's men's varsity softball team ranks first out of 57 Varsity 'A' military teams from around the country.

Miguel Aguilar, 82nd Force Support Squadron, hits a shot to the left side at a military softball tournament in Colorado, June 13, 2016. The Sheppard Senators, Sheppard Air Force Base's men's varsity softball team ranks first out of 57 Varsity 'B' military teams from around the country.

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

With recent accomplishments in hand, Sheppard’s men’s varsity softball team earns the number one Varsity ‘B’ rank and continues to advance toward the United States Specialty Sports Assoc. World Military Tournament, team coach says.

 “The Sheppard Senators have made tremendous strides towards our overall goal of being competitive in the a world Armed Forces championship tournament,” said Dr. Ronald Brown, 363rd Training Squadron training development and element chief, and Sheppard coach.

The Sheppard Senators have reached a first place rank out of 57 teams world-wide in the power ranking index. The power ranking index is determined by the strength of teams defeated overall.

“Compare this to the college football ranking index, where defeating a top ranked team, drops them and thrusts a previous unknown into the limelight,” said Brown. “The main reason the team has earned the number one power ranking slot is because, we have defeated several top Varsity ‘B’ teams and four Varsity ‘A’ teams.”

According to the division regulations, the difference between Military Varsity ‘A’ and Military Varsity ‘B’ is that ‘Varsity B’ can only be comprised of individuals stationed on a single the base where Varsity ‘A’ is comprised of individuals across multiple locations.

In the last article highlighting the Senators, Sheppard men’s varsity team makes a statement in Lackland, Brown said that in the beginning the team was considered an underdog—a statement that now seems to have changed according to Brown.

“Since that first tournament in Lackland, where we beat the reigning world Varsity ‘A’ champions, we have proven that the Senators are a strong competitor and should not be underestimated.”

After achieving third place out of 18 Department of Defense teams in the Commander’s Cup tournament in April, the Senators made several achievements that continue to drive them towards their goals, Brown said.

In early June, the Senators played at the Big League Field of Dreams in Mansfield, finishing ninth out of 25 teams from around the country.

“Ninth may not seem like much to most, but we are a Varsity ‘B’ team and we’ve competed against Varsity ‘A’ level teams, and not only held our own, but brought home several wins,” Brown said.

In the Band-Aid Tournament in Colorado, the second largest military tournament, the Senators placed fifth out of 29 Varsity ‘B’ teams, beating the team Travis Air Force Base’s “Aftershock” that took home second place in the Varsity ‘B’ only tournament.

In the following tournament, the Senators placed 17 out of 42 with the competition comprised of both ‘Varsity A’ and ‘Varsity B’ teams.

“Our players never get down on themselves regardless of the outcome of the games and tournaments,” said Senior Airman Desmond Greer, 82nd Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician and the Senators’ team leader. “If a teammate struggles, everyone comes together to pick that individual up.”

Greer, along with Staff Sgt. Andrew Purshock, 362nd Training Squadron, plan to compete for a spot on the All-Air Force team. Additionally, both players, averaging a .650 batting average, account for the majority of Senators’ homeruns produced.

“They are no doubt leaders on the team, and their performance all year, especially in our last tournament, only bolsters their chances at earning a place on the All-Air Force team,” Brown said. “But, Desmond and Andre are only two examples of the shining talent on the Senators. Every player on the team has a key role in our ability to perform as one.”

Brown stated the Sheppard Senators will continue to strive for excellence as they approach their next big challenge, the Texas Military State championships.

“We will continue to reflect the hard work and determination of our Team Sheppard community and represent our base community in every stride we take,” Brown said. “We may have lost games and may not always come out of a tournament with a trophy, but one thing that will never change is our drive to represent Team Sheppard in a professional and respectful manner.”