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A new champion is crowned

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A champion is overthrown and another is crowned as the Vandenberg end-of-season softball tournament ended with the Army team Balance of Power winning four straight games.

"We are out there to have fun," said Joe Navarro, assistant coach of BOP. "This was a fun tournament, everyone played to win, and all the teams were very competitive."

Balance of Power has been competing as a team for the last 10 years, but this is their first Vandenberg championship.

"Nine of the players on our team are over 40," Navarro said. "In the past we have finished 2nd or 3rd, to NRO and the Launch Group - they are great teams."

The National Reconnaissance Organization has won the tournament the last two years, he said.

"It was neat; we had people cheering for us to beat NRO because they wanted to see them lose," Navarro said. "One player from the launch group said they cheered harder for us than they did their own team."

The road to the championship was not an easy one. Several games came down to 7th inning heroics to win.

"When we played NRO, they scored six runs in the top of the 7th to take the lead, but we scored 7 in the bottom half to take it back," Navarro said.

Although the team enjoys winning, it really is all about fun with these guys. They have stringent rules against bad sportsmanship and bad manners.

"This is a family event; we need to protect that by not swearing or having bad attitudes," Navarro said. "It's simple: If you're sour, go home."

For any team that is waiting to knock off the reigning champion, they won't have to wait long.

"We are preparing now to play in the over-30 league," Navarro said. "Our entire team qualifies."

For more information on the over-30 softball league or any other intramural sports, contact the base fitness center at 606-3832.