Co-ed softball has been around in
Cayman at various levels for the last half decade. One of the steady squads
over that time frame has been the Chuggers.
A fixture in the A league the
Chuggers have routinely been one of the better teams. Last season the side was
a legitimate challenger to the Home Gas dynasty but fell short in the playoff
So far this season the side has
carried that momentum well sitting just behind Home Gas in the standings.
Statistically the Chuggers have done well scoring 30 runs while allowing 17,
lowest in their league.
The mastermind behind the squad is
pitcher/first baseman Alan Markoff. A journalist by day, the American national
has been leading his collection of softball talents the last six years. He
states the team thrives on contributions from all over the experienced roster.
“We’re a fun team that supports all
of our players, but we also like to win,” Markoff said. “We don’t have many
real power hitters and when we’re at our best, we’re spraying line drives to
all fields. We have one of the oldest average team ages in the programme, but
what we lack in youth we make up for with experience.”
There are also some notable newer
players like Damien Dilbert and Pat Haag that are making an early impact. Also
the lady players hold their own at the plate.
Another factor in the Chuggers’
success is their army of Cayman flag football players. With some five pigskin
lovers in the line-up on a given night the side has no shortage of athleticism.
Markoff, 51, admits many of them are his best players.
“Donnie House is one of the best
shortstops in the league. Neil Clements and Rob Harris are the biggest sticks
on the team. Christina Hefner and Ralda Paulse are two of the better female
gloves in co-ed.”
For all of that talent Coors Light
have a ways to go to challenge for a title. The team’s schedule sees a number
of formidable opponents in the coming weeks including PWC B, KPMG A and Home
Gas. Markoff is already looking forward to the challenge.
“We like playing the Master Batters
(and guys like Mark Missal) because we always seem to find a way to beat them.
We also like playing the Doghouse Glovernauts because revenge is sweet.
“We hate playing Home Gas because
they’re so serious and they beat us all the time. We did manage to beat them
last season, so maybe things will change. We also hate playing KM Ltd. because
their pitcher throws such a high arc that he’s hard to hit.”
Markoff is quick to state that he
is happy to relieve stress by playing softball and indulging in free alcohol.
“I play because I love the game. I
play because it’s good exercise. I play because the Chuggers team is as much a
social group as it is a competitive sports team. I play because I have fun!
“Our sponsor is vital to our
success because we’re all about the beer. Beer is our Gatorade. After getting
Coors Light as a sponsor last year, we went 7-2 after a 2-3 start.”