TUBA CITY, Ariz. - The Arizona Hot Shots Boom Boom Cobras softball team, comprised of girls from Tuba City, just wrapped up a successful season with a second place finish in the NABI softball tournament. The long team name comes from years of different sponsors and athletic apparel, parents making jerseys, and the variety of tournaments the team has entered.
The team name they registered under for the NABI tournament was Team Boom Boom. They played several 18 and under tournaments during the year, as they mostly do every season, gearing up for a run in the NABI tournament at the end of the season.
"Flagstaff has a couple tournaments every summer, we've played in Pinetop one year, we've played in St. George or Cedar City tournaments in southern Utah, and we've had scrimmages against Gallup [N.M.]," said Jonathan Yazzie, head coach, who also mentioned they play summer club teams too from various cities when they get the opportunity and their schedules permit.
Team Boom Boom finished with a 4-1 record in NABI play, taking first place in their pool during pool play. After winning in the first round of tournament play they lost in the championship game to an outstanding squad from Oklahoma.
The softball team is comprised mostly of Tuba City High School players along with a couple incoming freshmen girls. Only a few of the girls had ever played NABI before, and as a team they had yet to venture into NABI play.
"When we made it to the second round of state is when we knew we were going to go ahead and play NABI," said Yazzie. "One of the parents supported us and paid for the fee already."
The coaching staff, made up of Yazzie, Joe Baca and Mike Hastings, has been coaching together at the high school for four years now. They try to do as much as they can for their players and all kids in the community either in-season or during the off-season.
"We ran a summer camp that was pretty successful," Yazzie said. "Most of our instruction emulates major universities. We've gone to U of A [University of Arizona] clinics, ASU [Arizona State University] clinics, Yavapai [College] coaching clinics, just teams from around the region. And we try to bring those drills, along with how to teach skills and fundamentals, back to the kids in our community."
According to Yazzie, he and his fellow coaches pay for these clinics themselves simply because they love the game and love to coach. They want to see the kids in their community learn the sport the best way possible and have as many opportunities as other larger or more urban communities do.
Yazzie said one of their camps would be held this upcoming December at Tuba City High School during Christmas break. The Skills and Drills Fundamental Camp doesn't have specific dates attached to it yet, but once Yazzie gets the dates finalized he will be letting the community know. Yazzie explained his intention is to have his own version of a holiday camp similar to how many universities have their own holiday camps.