75th Rangers capture softball championship crown

The 75th Ranger Regiment softball team poses with their 1st place trophy July 14 on Gowdy Field after winning the Commander's Cup softball championship. (Photos by Gerald Williams)

The 75th Ranger Regiment softball team poses with their 1st place trophy July 14 on Gowdy Field after winning the Commander’s Cup softball championship. (Photos by Gerald Williams)

By Gerald Williams, Bayonet & Saber /

The 75th Ranger Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry softball teams went head-to-head for the Commander’s Cup softball championship July 14 at Gowdy Field.

The 75th Rangers slugged their way to the title defeating the 2-58 Infantry, 17-7.

“I want to thank all of the guys who participated,” said coach Jacob Stadler, 75th Ranger Regiment. “We played with 12 guys at the most all season. Despite that, we showed up every day and played as a team. We never hung our heads. I can’t thank them enough for their efforts.”

For Stadler, member of the softball Commander’s Cup league since 2009, winning the championship marks a momentous accomplishment for him since he will be leaving 75th Ranger Regiment later this year.

“Not only is this my last season managing, but it is also my last season as part of the 75th Ranger Regiment. It’s a special thing. You generally don’t get to be around the same officers and people having fun like this. I honestly couldn’t be more proud to be part of this team.”

Derrick Smith, 75th Ranger Regiment, locks his eyes on an incoming pitch July 14 at Gowdy Field. (Photos by Gerald Williams)

Derrick Smith, 75th Ranger Regiment, locks his eyes on an incoming pitch July 14 at Gowdy Field.

Derrick Smith, 75th Ranger Regiment, said he enjoyed this season not just because of the win, but because of the camaraderie gained from his teammates.

The Commander’s Cup Program is a curriculum of sports events for Soldiers on Fort Benning who want to participate in recreational activities such as hockey, basketball, softball, volleyball and golf.

Teams can be formed from any Fort Benning unit and seasons run throughout the year. The beginning of the year starts off with basketball, followed by soccer, softball and volleyball.

Points are awarded for teams that participate and teams who place well in their games. Teams that win at least half of their games will go on to compete in the championship. The unit who wins gets a Commander’s Cup banner hung up in Smith Gym for their unit.

Next season’s sport will be football. Coaches can meet Aug 16 at 1 p.m. at Doughboy Stadium for information on registering for football. Those interested may also call Willie Spann, sports coordinator for the Commander’s Cup Program, at 706-984-1994.

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