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Good Weather, Injuries, and Cancer Awareness at the 2023 CAN-Sirs Northern California State Championships

June 1, 2023

By Donna McGuire
Softball News Report

Great weather, spirited competition, and 20 games decided by one run highlighted the 2023 SSUSA/CAN-Sirs Northern California State Championship played June 9-11 in the Sacramento area.

The tournament was named to help promote the CAN-Sirs program. Pete Davignon, of Chico, California, created CAN- Sirs in 2010. Using donations and the proceeds from tournaments he ran, Davignon built an organization of senior players who were cancer survivors. The organization was dedicated to promoting cancer awareness and prevention.

In 2016, Davignon and SSUSA teamed up to co-sponsor the annual SSUSA/CAN-Sirs Northern California State Championships. Davignon died in 2021, but his vision lives on.

Of the 41 participating teams, 12 emerged with berths to the 2023 Tournament of Champions set for late January in Polk County, Florida.

Some nail-biting championship play enthralled spectators who attended games played at the Sacramento Softball Complex and the Foskett Regional Park in Lincoln.

A championship series involving a new Warriors 60+ AAA team out of Sacramento caught the eye of Tournament Director Bill Hill.

“The Warriors double dipped a very good team, It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere 65+ AAA, for their first-ever tournament win,” Hill said.

One unusual situation involved two serious injuries happening almost simultaneously on different fields at Foskett Regional Park, said Nic Francois, who also served as a director.

On Field 2, the second baseman for the 50+ AAA team JMR of Oregon dislocated his left shoulder when he dived to catch a fly ball and landed hard. After being tended by a doctor and a former medic who were at the game, the player declined an ambulance and instead took a private vehicle ride to the emergency room. He later returned to watch his team finish tournament play, Francois said.

On Field 4, a pitcher for the 55+ Major team JU Entertainment of California collapsed to the ground after a sharply batted ball struck him in the groin. Fortunately, the pitcher recovered and remained in the game.

CAN-Sirs Exhibition 70 AAA Team at the 2023 CAN-Sirs/SSUSA Northern California State Championships.


Men’s 40+ Masters Platinum: In one of the tournament’s most-thrilling finals, the top-seeded 40+ Major Plus team Supreme Athletics (photo below) gave up five runs in the top of the seventh and trailed by two after leading most of the game. Supreme scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to nab a 24-23 championship game victory and finish unbeaten for the tournament. As the top-finishing 40+ Major team, Vicious Cycle/Scudz Sports/Suncoast also earned a TOC berth. Both are California teams. Gold Nation 40s of California won four elimination games to finish third in the 10-team bracket, which was the tournament’s largest.

Men’s 40/50+ Gold: This division saw another exciting title contest, as Gold Nation 50s (photo below) lost 23-22 in the first championship game before claiming a 26-11 victory in the ‘if’ game. C.B.C./A & B Plumbing took second in the three-team bracket. NFL2G finished third. All are California teams.

Men’s 50+ AAA: Third-seeded S.W.A. of California (photo below) defeated top-seeded Smokem of California 26-19 to win the three-team division. The Nor-Cal Hitmen finished third.

Men’s 55+ Platinum: Second-seeded Acme defeated top-seeded Worth Miken KM Sportz (both teams photoed below) 29-26 to win the four-team division. Acme earned the 55+ Major Plus TOC berth while Worth Miken KM Sportz secured the 55+ Major TOC berth. Aftershock finished third. All three are California teams.

Men’s 55/60+ Gold: California Energy 60s (photo below) earned the 60+ Major TOC bid and the bracket title by double dipping the North Valley Seniors of California 21-20 and 7-0. The North Valley Seniors earned the 55+ AAA TOC berth. SMASH, a 60+ Major team from California, finished third in the six-team division.

Men’s 60/65+ AAA: In a best-of-three format, the 60+ Warriors of California (photo below) needed three games to defeat the 65+ team It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere of California 11-22, 23-20 and 16-15.

Men’s 70/75+ Platinum: In a best-of-three format, Last Call 70s of Nevada defeated the 75+ Major Plus team OMEN of California 18-10 in the first game but then withdrew, giving OMEN two 7-0 victories and the title.

Men’s 70+ AAA: Top-seeded Nor-Cal 70s (photo below) capped a 5-0 tournament with an 18-13 championship game victory over the Sacramento Islanders. The CAN-Sirs exhibition team finished third in the three-team division.

Men’s 75+ AAA: Please Don’t Bug Me of California (photo below) defeated Last Call 75 of Nevada 15-8 to claim the title of the three-team division. The Sacramento Buds placed third.

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