Letter to the Editor: Coaches: A special shout out

This past week, our 8th grade softball team played in a tournament in Luverne, Minn. Deciding to even make the trip to this tournament was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make as a coach. On June 22, our hometown of Spencer, Iowa had catastrophic flooding – decimating neighborhoods, homes, schools and businesses. Walking away from our town at a most desperate time of need didn’t seem right, but when I sent out the text to just gauge where everyone’s heads were at, I had a resounding request to play in this tournament. Every single girl had been affected by this flood in some way. I thought, if nothing else, at least these girls will have some hours of “normalcy” and time with their friends they had missed seeing because of previously canceled tournaments due to rain.
Our first opponent was the Brandon Valley Blast – a team we had never faced – and I’m guessing most of our girls are unaware where Brandon, S.D., is located. I’m also assuming the Brandon Valley Blast is not too familiar with the town of Spencer, Iowa.

Here’s the cool part. At the end of the game, each of our girls were presented with care packages and supplies to be donated to the people of our town for flood relief. They had taken the time to go on our local distribution Facebook page to see what items were needed. At that moment, I knew we had made the right decision to come to this tournament. My girls witnessed firsthand something so much bigger than the game of softball. Complete strangers – opponents – showing up to not only show generosity to our team, but our entire community in need. Kudos to you, Brandon Valley Blast – the players, the coaches, the parents. We will not forget this act of kindness, and we will pay it forward.

Coaches Matthew Stevenson & Michaela Matthiessen

Spencer, Iowa



The Brandon Valley Journal


The Brandon Valley Journal
1404 E. Cedar St.
Brandon, SD 57005
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