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Let’s face it. Softball in the five-school Boulder radius hasn’t made much noise in recent seasons.

All five squads — Boulder, Fairview, Monarch, Centaurus and Peak to Peak — finished at or near the bottom of their respective leagues this fall. It’s not that these schools don’t have quality players. They do. There are just not enough of them.

“There’s two things that are happening,” Boulder Stars 18U coach Pete Sprenkle said. “The number of girls who are playing high school softball is going down. And I don’t think it comes as a surprise that the success rate of all five of the teams involved has been pretty low.”

Sprenkle, a local softball ambassador of sorts, is seeking a remedy. He has devised a plan, and coaches from each of the five teams are on board. Essentially, Sprenkle and company are aiming to unveil affordable softball clinics and additional instructional sessions in hopes youthful local girls will get involved long before high school.

“What we’re trying to do here is get more girls into the pipeline so the number of girls increases,” Sprenkle said. “Through clinics and hopefully more coaching, we’re trying to improve the level of play of these girls so that the level of play on the field, for all five of these teams, trends on the upside.”

Sprenkle’s Stars squad regularly features girls from the area, so he has a vested interest. He also has served head-coaching stints at Centaurus and Boulder, so he knows the landscape.

While no date has been set in stone, Sprenkle and his BoCo Fastpitch effort are planning an inaugural coaches clinic in early March. The idea is to keep costs down, too. Profits from a friendly tournament held in November and forthcoming tournament in April will go towards the clinic.

“For example, if we used the profits to pay for an instructor and the gym, we could run a pitching clinic for 10 dollars a girl,” Sprenkle said. “Girls who have the opportunity for a free clinic, or even a 10 dollar clinic, would be much more apt to go than if it was 50 bucks.”

Sprenkle has partnered with current varsity coaches Erika Trujillo (Monarch), Matthew Frederick (Fairview), Mike Lujan (Centaurus) and Brandin Becher (Peak to Peak), in addition to Boulder assistant Val Knopf and recently resigned Susan Guegan, who coaches the Boulder Valley Pride club team.

Also on board is Melisa Goodard, the president of the Boulder Valley Girls Softball Association and Indian Peaks Girls Softball Association.

“I think a lot of it is going to be word-of-mouth communication to all the younger athletes who are out there,” said Trujillo, who coached at Peak to Peak prior to joining Monarch this season. “If they’ve never been exposed to softball, it’s a good opportunity for them to go out there and try something new. It’s really going to be parents and other people already involved in softball spreading word on it.”

While starring at Dakota Ridge in the early 2000s, Trujillo was part of a program that had about 35 girls and three levels. At Monarch, she had 23 to begin the season and only a varsity and JV squad. Boulder only had a varsity squad.

Trujillo would like to see Monarch’s program balloon to 35, saying that in addition to softball reasons: “It’s more of a sisterhood, too.”

The five schools combined for a 26-69 record this fall, with only Fairview (9-10) hovering near .500. And it’s not because the entire region is dry when it comes to softball talent. Go a bit southeast to Broomfield, where Legacy, Broomfield and Holy Family all have had state-level squads over parts of the past several seasons. Nearby Erie, Silver Creek and Niwot also are regulars at the state tournament.

The idea is not to stage three or four clinics and believe the problem has been remedied. This will be a multi-year process aimed at getting local softball back to par.

“We don’t expect that all of a sudden we’re going to see a big difference,” Sprenkle said. “But if we can fill the pipeline and get more qualified coaches, we’re hoping some of the girls who develop a strong interest will join some of the local club teams. That will filter in a stronger product for the high school teams.”

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