Custom Classic draws teams from far and near

Freedom New Mexico: Clarence Plank Gonzalo Lozano of the Texas Twisters gets ready to catch a pop up in the third inning at Guy Leeder Softball Complex on Friday in Clovis.

By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico

Teams came from as far away as Lubbock, Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Oklahoma to join local teams to play in New Mexico’s largest slowpitch softball tournament.

Playing nearly around the clock from Friday night through Sunday afternoon, the 26th annual Plateau Wireless Custom Classic is played on about a dozen fields on two softball complexes in Clovis.

About half of the 126 teams in the tournament — three men’s and two woemen’s divisions — are from Clovis.

Some teams play to win trophies. Others mostly to have fun.

Evil Charm of Lubbock has played in the tournament for six years, according to coach Robbie James.

Last year, Evil Charm finished second place in the women’s recreation bracket and won the tournament in 2007.

“I love coaching these girls. They are my friends,” James said. “We have a great time. We’re here to have fun.”

After their game Friday night, Evil Charm players will head to their hotel to relax. They’ll play again today — in the morning if they lose and at 11 p.m. if they win.

Not everyone is staying in Clovis overnight.

Texas Twisters coach and player Facundo Olivas of Muleshoe is driving back after their game. If the Texas Twisters win, their next game is at 5 a.m. today. A loss means they can sleep in a little longer. They will play at 9 a.m.

“Some of us will go back and some of us will stay,” Olivas said. “Some might go to work, and then come back out here.”

When he was younger he played in the tournament with his dad and uncles.

Gonzalo Lozano has been playing with Olivas on the Texas Twisters for three years.

Lozano said he hasn’t decided if he is going to go back home after the game or not.

“I don’t know yet, we got a party we got to go to after this,” said Lozano, who has been playing softball for 10 years with different teams. “I don’t know if were going to go back home.”