Wreckers finish fourth in state
When the Wreckers 18-and-under softball team was put together before the summer began, coach Scott Chester didn’t know how competitive the girls would be.
Generally speaking, he said, teams from the Salt Lake Valley dominate against summer league teams from Summit County.
But the Wreckers simply found ways to win. The team, made up of seven Wasatch players, two Pleasant Grove girls, a South Summit Wildcat and three high school graduates (including one Park City and one Wasatch grad), picked up three walk-off wins en route to a 25-16 season record.
The Wreckers also won the Orem League Championship with a record of 12-1 in league play, placed third at the Sanpete County Shootout and capped off the season with a fourth-place finish at the Utah State Championships.
Chester, who coached the team along with Corey Baker, said he didn’t know what to expect from the team that was thrown together at the last minute.
"We had four practices all year that’s all," he said. "Wasatch had uniforms with a ‘W,’ so the girls picked ‘Wreckers’ out of all the ‘W’ names."
Chester normally coaches his daughter, Cass Chester, on a Summit County Silver Strikers team, but he said that wasn’t an option this year.
"There just weren’t enough Silver Strikers to have an under-18 team," he said.
Even with some of Wasatch’s older players, Chester said the Wreckers still fielded a young roster more often than not.
"We had really talented girls, but really, half this team was a U16 team," he said. "We knew we could win some games, but we just didn’t want to be embarrassed."
They weren’t. Time after time, the Wreckers surprised their coaches with their resilience.
"It just became this great thing," Chester said. "We’d find a way to hang in there."
The Wreckers beat the No. 1 seed, the Utah Avalanche, in the quarterfinals of the Utah State Championships 4-0, surprising many in the softball world.
"We had to leave that field and walk onto the next field where we played the Salt Lake Flames in the semifinals," Chester said. "They’re a power and ended up winning state. Their coach looked at me and said, ‘What the heck are you guys doing here?’"
After falling to the Flames, the Wreckers headed to the third-place game, where more disappointment was in store.
"We lost the third-place game," Chester said. "They walked off on us. But just to be in that position, it was great."
Chester added that he’s proud of the way the team came together in such a short time and said it would prove to be great experience for all the girls.
PCHS graduate Cass Chester threw three shutouts over the course of the summer, winning 15 games and striking out 78. The team hit .333 at the plate and averaged 5.2 runs per game.
Camille Cluff of Wasatch led the Wreckers with a .382 batting average and 21 RBI. Maddie Chadwick (Wasatch graduate) hit .375, Tristin Bills and Jensyn Baker of Wasatch hit .370 and .360, respectively, and Baker led the team with six doubles, two triples and two home runs.
McKaye Woolstenhulme of South Summit hit .290 and played catcher, third base, second base and all outfield positions over the course of the season.
Chester said he’ll remember the Wreckers’ consistent play and great determination.
"I think we had two bad games all year," he said. "We were always in games. It was just a great experience."
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Officials predict the economic impact of the coronavirus will last into at least next summer.