Call it the luck of rebranding.
Traditionally played on a rainy weekend, the annual Storm Dayz softball tournament hosted by the Kishwaukee Valley Storm this year in Sycamore changed its logo – emphasizing good weather instead – and rain is supposed to be at a minimum this weekend for the 72-team tournament at the Sycamore Community Sports Complex.
“The T-shirts we have this year, instead of saying Storm Dayz, the “Storm” is crossed out and it says Sunny Dayz,” Storm 16-and-under coach Chris Dierschow said. “We’re hoping that brings us some good juju.”
Last year, rain forced a change in the tournament’s format. Normally double elimination when the tournament enters bracket play, it was reduced to single elimination. Dierschow’s Storm team, playing at 14U at the time, was winning heading into a weather delay but lost on the other side of the break, ending hopes of a title.
With the players on the team older this year, Dierschow said he’s using what they’ve learned playing for their high school programs and hope that leads to more success.
“It’s kind of nice that we get them back together,” Dierschow said. “It’s great they got those experiences in high school, but it’s also great to get them back together here. We talked to them, picked up what they learned from their high school teams, and kind of bring that back together and make it kind of our own thing.”
The team took second at a tournament at Woodstock last week behind pitchers Addison Dierschow and Ava Hall.
“I think we’re ready,” Storm infielder Isabel Aranda said. “Since we did well at the last tournament, we’re ready for this one. Addison is a really good pitcher, and we have another good pitcher as well. I think we’re ready.”
Play for the 16U Storm team begins at 1:30 p.m. Friday, with action in the championship bracket beginning Saturday morning. The Storm also have 12U and 18U teams playing. The Sycamore Sycos have two teams in the 10U bracket, plus one team in the other four brackets.
Early forecasts showed less than a 50% chance of rain Saturday, with most of the bad weather early in the day.
“Every year it rains on Storm Dayz, and this year is not supposed to rain much at all,” Addison Dierschow said. “We’re all really excited for that. It’s always nice playing on a good day.”