What: FCFA Pack the Park Day
When: Today at 5 and 7 p.m.
Where: Piedra Vista softball field at the Farmington Sports Complex
More info: All players wearing their FCFA jerseys will get into the game free, and the first 100 through the gate will receive a drawstring backpack.
No. 1 Piedra Vista will host No. 10 Farmington in a big District 1-4A softball match up at the Farmington Sports Complex.
But the game will have a different feel than many regular season games. Players from the Four Corners Fastpitch Association will be admitted free of charge and will line the outfield grass beyond the outfield fence as part of PV's “Pack the Park” promotion.
“With as many kids as we have playing softball in this area, it is a fun night to give back to them and let them see two good teams play some softball,” said PV head coach Kevin Werth. “When we play FHS, records don't matter. It will be the typical rivalry game with both teams bringing their best.”
The two teams have combined to win 10 state titles in the 12 years they have been playing district games against each other. Piedra Vista has won seven consecutive 4A state titles, and the two schools have a total of 15 state titles between them.
“It is special anytime PV and FHS play,” said FHS head coach Johnny Curry. “It dates back to when PV first opened the doors. It is really special.”
Curry is in his first year coaching, but he knows what the rivalry means for the teams and the young girls watch the game.
His daughter and Farmington High softball player Jordan Curry came up playing in the FCFA.
“We started her off in t-ball there. The FCFA is something absolutely amazing,” he said. “I came back this year from the Rio Rancho area, and they have nothing there. They have some little league but nothing close to the 800 kids playing summer ball in the FCFA here in Farmington. I haven't seen anything like it. I was walking around their opening ceremony last week thinking how great it is to have all of these little girls playing softball. The parents and the community are really involved, and that is unique to see.”
Werth hopes girls watching from the outfield will be inspired by the current varsity players, just as his players idolized the high school players before them.
“Our girls were in their shoes not too long ago. They know what it is like to be on the other side of the fence watching the games,” Werth said. “Our girls are going to go out there and do their best. I hope maybe they do something that can encourage girls to stick with it.”
John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.