Central Iowa all-stars head to Little League World Series

Joe Randleman
Central Iowa all-stars head to Little League World Series

The Central Iowa Little League All-Stars 12-and-under softball team recently qualified for the Little League World Series, to be held in Portland, Ore. this month.

The Central Iowa all-stars won state with a perfect 5-0 tournament record. The team then qualified for the World Series by going 6-0 at the Central Regional in Indianapolis, which was concluded on July 30.

The Central Iowa All-Stars are made up of girls from the Ballard, Collins-Maxwell and North Polk communities. They became the first Central Iowa team to reach the World Series, and only the third team from Iowa since its beginning in 1978.

“This group of girls have a very high softball IQ and skill set,” Central Iowa all-stars manager Charlie Husak said. “Their parents have invested a lot of resources and time making this happen. Coaching such a team allows us to focus on many advanced skill sets that are not normally possible for 12-year-old girls. Not every player can throw a ball 57 miles per hour from 40 feet or hit a ball off the fence, but every player adds value to a team when she knows her role and accomplishes that role for her team. These players accepted that right away, and that is a big reason for the success we’ve had.”

The Central Iowa All-Stars are made up of: Isabell Hobbs, Abby Husak, Emma Kahler, Brynna Huen, Ella Kahler, Chloe Dougherty, Hailey Steffen, Maggie Larson, Carley Wilson, Mikayla Houge, Skylar Rigby, Maddie Kyhl and Isabella Johnson.

“What I’ve enjoyed the most has been the thrill in these girls as we’ve advanced to each stage,” Charlie Husak said. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and to see their faces after each accomplishment is priceless. My favorite picture is of our younger fan club (all younger sisters of the players) after we won in Indianapolis. That picture is worth 1,000 words, and to see the sport bring that desire and heart out of 9 and 10-year old girls is amazing.”

Houge - from Collins - is the team’s top pitcher. Rigby, a Huxley resident, is her battery mate at catcher.

“We have a strong pitcher and strong catcher,” Charlie Husak said. “They are the leaders of this team and they have a very strong defense behind them.”

Hobbs, a Huxley resident, is the team’s other pitcher.

The Central Iowa All-Stars leave for Portland on Aug. 11. They depart on Aug. 20.

“I have the hope of winning it,” Charlie Husak said. “This team has as good a shot as any.”