The Denver Jewish Softball League concluded its largest season ever on Sunday, Aug. 23, with two championship teams, the HEABrews and the Bad Jews Bears.
The league had 18 teams this year with approximately 250 players, the highest number to date.
“The mix was eclectic, with almost every religious sect and organization showing some type of representation,” said Loren Knaster, longtime player and current league commissioner.
“We split into Aleph and Bet leagues this year to create a little bit more parity for all of the teams, and implemented a European soccer-style relegation system so that a couple teams move up and down each year,” Knaster told the IJN.
As a result, the league had two playoff tournaments, one for Aleph and one for Bet.
In the first-ever Bet playoff tournament, #1 seeded Bad Jews Bears took home the championship.
Coached by Jeff Wedgle, the Bears cruised through all three rounds, eventually knocking off the YAD-Balls from JEWISHcolorado.
“It was quite an improvement for YAD, considering they finished second to last a year ago,” Knaster said.
In the Aleph tournament, the HEABrews edged the JCC Sox to win their ninth championship in 10 years. They were down, 9-2, in the game before staging a furious rally to win 14-12.
JCC got to the finals by knocking off the undefeated and upstart ISTeam, led by Danny Hyatt. This team started the year in the Bet league and was promoted to the Aleph playoffs after a stellar season.
On the other side of the bracket, the HEA-Brews knocked off the Rodef Shalom Men in Green in their semi-final, in a rematch of last year’s championship game.
The league spanned three months and 13 regular season games, breaking for Shavuot, 17th of Tammuz and Tisha b’Av.
Copyright © 2015 by the Intermountain Jewish News