Jets’ wild, comfortable ride about to begin

The ride is just beginning for the Hauser High School girls softball players, who will face Carroll in the Class A State Championship game Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.

The limousine ride.

Head coach Craig Sims said that two limos of the big, white Hummer variety will deliver the Jets to Ben Davis. Departure from Hauser is scheduled at approximately 7 a.m.

While the Jets went through their normal practice routine on their home field Monday evening, it won’t be a normal week. Tickets go on sale for the state final today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at athletics director Dave Irvine’s office.

A pep rally is scheduled Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. in the main gymnasium. The rally is open to the public so anyone who wants to send the team out with a bang is invited to show up at that time.

The rally is going to be followed by a bonfire and a cookout. A fan bus will be available Saturday and while the details haven’t been hammered out yet, that information will be available at Irvine’s office when people purchase tickets ($10) for the event.

While Sims will try to keep things as normal as possible on the field, he knows that this is historic stuff for the high school and the community and he wants the girls to enjoy it as much as possible.

This will be Hauser’s third shot at a state championship with the boys basketball team winning in 2006 and the baseball team finishing as a runner-up in 2005.

The Jets never had advanced past the regional level in softball before this season.

With so much on the line, the Jets seemed very loose as they warmed up for their practice session Monday.

Those who have watched Hauser warm up before games know that the Jets can intimidate opponents just by going through their drills.

While I was watching Hauser before a sectional game, I thought back to the days I covered the University of Arizona baseball team when it won the College World Series in 1980. Future Major League Baseball players Ed Vosberg, Terry Francona, Craig Lefferts, John Moses and Casey Candaele were among those on that team.

Head coach Jerry Kindall was a man of routines, and he always had his team warm up to the song “Sweet Georgia Brown.” Every single time.

But I remember the opponents watching the Wildcats of that era run through infield drills, and it was so crisp that you felt Arizona had an edge even before the game began.

If you decide to attend Saturday’s state title game, try to get there early to watch Hauser run its drills before the game. Sims hits shots at his infielders, and they gobble up the ball, then whip it around the infield. It is a thing of beauty to watch, and Sims has his routine down to a science.

Catch the opponents watching from in front of their dugout. You will see a few jaws dropping.

Softball, indeed, is a sport of precision. With the bases just 60 feet apart, any slight bobble results in an error. At this level, one of those bobbles could be the difference between a win and a loss, so it will be interesting to see if either team has a case of the jitters.

Irvine doesn’t have any jitters about selling the 500 tickets for the event as supplied by the Indiana High School Athletic Association. He said they will go rather quickly, so if you want your tickets ahead of time, try to pick them up in the next couple of days.

Jay Heater is the Republic sports editor. He can be reached at or 379-5632.