By Staff Sgt. Jason Kendrick, 56th IBCT PAO, MND-BJune 23, 2009
BAGHDAD - When Soldiers serving in Iraq find themselves with downtime and in need of something to help occupy their time, many of them rely on the various events sponsored by Morale Welfare and Recreation centers throughout Iraq. These events can be anything from playing cards, participating in various dance- themed nights at the MWR to playing board games and sports.
With sports as their preferred past time, some Soldiers serving in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, have pulled together a soft ball squad known as the Scorpions.
Recently, the Scorpions won an MWR-sponsored June 11 tournament going an impressive 5-0, winning the tournament championship and taking the final game and bragging rights from a group of civilian contractors whose team was dubbed MRAP in reference to the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle.
"We definitely have their number," said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Amis, an intelligence sergeant serving with HHC, 56th IBCT, and Scorpions team captain. "We have beaten MRAP for the championship twice now."
In their first championship win against MRAP during a tournament in May, the Scorpions brought their record to 5-1 in that particular series.
However, the road to victory did not come easy for the upstart Scorpions. When the team first came together, they lost their first two games and were promptly eliminated from their first tournament back in April. With softball widely regarded as a 'hitters' game, the Scorpions had to come together defensively to make it happen.
"Defensively we picked up some players and that helped us," said Sgt. Daniel Ehardt, the team's left center fielder and an operations sergeant serving with the 56th IBCT. "Through our playing and practicing together, we gelled and became an actual team as we got to know each other's strengths and where to put people in the field."
"We were not winning at first. We lost the first couple of games, but once we got used to playing with each other, we started winning," echoed Capt. Nicky Bearb, a medical operations officer from Forney, Texas serving with the 56th IBCT and team catcher.
The team made it through the tournaments knowing that their defense would be the difference in this offensive game.
Amis, the team's short stop commented "I love the competiveness and the fact that we have a really good team. It's fun!"
Out on the field after their most recent championship win had been secured, Ehardt from Granbury, Texas, could be heard stating, "two in a row, that's what I call a VBC dynasty."