Cactus Cities Softball League and Arizona Gay Volleyball Association are teaming up this year to combine their biggest tournaments into one mighty weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s set to feature plenty of fun events, like a huge opening party at DeSoto Market, team dinners throughout the valley, and a closing blowout at Charlie’s Phoenix.
The Saguaro Cup Softball Tournament and Sets on the Sand Volleyball Tournament will take place April 8th, 9th and 10th. Visit cactuscities.com and azgv.org. Early registration closes February 29th, deadline is March 19th.
Kevin Bushaw: As an AZGV board member, I’m pleased to interview triple-threat Edd Schommer. How long have you been involved with Arizona Gay Volleyball (AZGV), Cactus Cities Softball (CCSL), and Friends with Benefits (FwBK)?
Edd Schommer: I’ve been involved with AZGV about twelve years. Ever since I was fifteen. That’s a big “wink,” there. The organization was just starting out with about ten teams total on Monday and Tuesday nights. The organization has really blossomed since it first began to now over thirty-five teams! I started as a player representative and moved into assistant commissioner, and now I just get to play.
I’ve been with CCSL for fourteen years, and there were only six teams at the time. It’s grown into what could be called the largest LGBT sports organization in the valley. I’ve been North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) representative for thirteen years but now I’ve stepped back for a moment. For kickball, I’ve been involved for two years, and we just got back from competing in the Sin City Shootout in Vegas.
K.B.: Can you tell us about your alter ego?
E.S.: Anna Rexia, my drag persona, was invented to help fundraise for my teams 15 years ago. She’s been at pretty much every team fundraiser since the inception of Cactus Cities Softball.
K.B.: What’s your favorite part of Sand Volleyball with AZGV, CCSL and FwB Kickball?
E.S.: All of the friends I’ve made locally and nationally!
K.B.: You’ve been in your fair share of big sports tournaments. Can you give us a fun tournament story from your travels?
E.S.: They’re all so fun! It’s hard to pick just one. There are always great stories to tell when we come back from a good weekend. Hosting the Softball Gay World Series in Phoenix when CCSL hosted Mens’ and Womens’ open divisions was really special. We were the last city to do that.
K.B.: What’s the best thing for teammates going into a big tournament to remember?
E.S.: Remember that you’re representing yourself, your city and your league.
K.B.: What piece of advice would you give to new players who want to get involved?
E.S.: Don’t hesitate, just get here! There are divisions for everyone – just join! It’s a great way to find your niche. A lot of my great friends have come from playing these different sports.
By Kevin Bushaw
Photo By Scott Kirby