Focus on Carlsbad Fall 2020 | Legendary Cavegirl Softball

Coach John Tigert uses an acrostic in his player code of conduct, to remind his athletes that softball stands for:

S for Sacrifice and Study

O for Organization; a time to work and study

F for Fellowship and Faith in oneself

T for Testing

B for Belief in self confidence

A for Attitude; a quitter never wins, a winner never quits

L for Love; pursuit of excellence

L for Lesson supreme; walk away with lifetime values

The acrostic establishes a high standard of conduct for the young women honored to play for the legendary Carlsbad softball team. In fact, because of the high level of conduct, the team has been invited back to hotels on their traveling schedule by request of hotel management. The team carries itself with great dignity and pride on and off of their royal blue turfed field.

Even their blue field is a trophy of the team’s winning attitude and tradition. Coach Tigert promised the team that if they did the winning, he would navigate the Title IX legislation to get them a facility worthy of their legacy. In 1980, Cavegirl softball was five years old. That 1980 team was the only softball team in the southern half of the state. This team’s record was 5-5 entering the state tournament. They won all four of the games to clinch the state championship while wearing the girls basketball tops as their uniforms. Since those days of borrowed equipment, Tigert and Cavegirl softball successfully proved the value of high school women’s sports. They back their worth with 870 wins and 179 losses in their entire history. Their games are packed with fans and are an important revenue source for the athletic department. The Cavegirl softball staff began the state All-Star game which acts as another fundraiser, but also as the means to draw national attention to the program. University scouts from all over the country attend the game to identify talent for the next level of competition.

Cavegirl softball is not only a regional powerhouse, making appearances at all the state playoffs every year since its inception, but plays a national role as well. In March of 1996, the team featured in the national publication of Seventeen magazine. Graduate players from the Cavegirl softball program have gone on to play at colleges and universities nationwide, some as far away as Connecticut. A number have gone on to play at Texas Tech and at New Mexico. One Cavegirl even played professional softball. Over 135 Cavegirl softball players have been offered college scholarships and many have made All-Conference and All-American.

The onset of the pandemic of 2020 brought the softball season to an unexpected halt. Tigert and the Cavegirls plan to use this time to regroup and plan their attack on their goal of 1,000 wins in the upcoming season. Go Cavegirls!

Carlsbad Cavegirl logo designed by Rage Airbrush.

“Tigert was my athletic director and softball coach for several years. He is one of the most loyal and dedicated coaches I have ever worked alongside. He has received many state and national awards for this dedication and I can say with no reservation that he is and has been a good friend. Whether he was coaching, working with parents and coaches or out hunting quail, his undeniable drive for perfection was always a priority. His impact on Southeastern New Mexico in sports and the lives he touched will be remembered for a long time.”

- Vernon Asbill, Superintendent of Carlsbad Schools | 1996-2003
Article written by Kaity Hirst and originally published in Focus on Carlsbad 2020 Fall edition.
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