1991 PEOPLES CHURCH WORLD CHAMPIONS SLOWPITCH TEAM

Team Recognition

Back Row l. to r.: Ralph Van Dyk, Scott Stolzenburg, Ron Coder, Kurtis Wells, Darrell Shively, Doug Weston, Dan Valentine, Tim Cutter, Mike Stevens, Dave Glenn, and Ivy Iverson.
Front Row l. to r.: Norm Bryan (National Church Director). Rich Van Dyk, Jerry Henderson, Steve Shackett (coach), Dave Nusser, Onie Shackett, and Pastor Owen E. Shackett.

Over the course of four decades, the Peoples Church softball team has emerged as probably the most recognized Church Softball Program in the entire nation. Formed in 1968, it developed a consistent widely regarded reputation as a winner at every level. It has also been acknowledged as one of the longest running softball team programs in Washington State history.

Started by brothers Steve and Owen (Onie) Shackett, the Peoples Church Team won every conceivable award possible during its historic run including three World Church Tournaments, 17 Church State Championships, 2 Men Open State Championships, and over 160 USSSA Tournaments throughout the country including 14 N.I.T. National Tournaments. Over a 30 year time frame, Peoples established a winning percentage of .769 pct. playing against some of the best competition in the United States.

Softball played a significant part in the lives of the players committed to this team. It was normal for everyone to bring their wives and children to the ballpark for almost every game. Additionally, it was almost a festive attitude when there were tournaments scheduled nearby. Each player's entire family was generally present and picnics, BBQ's and pot-lucks were the common themes of the day. Traveling from state to state and ballpark to ballpark was a significant time for building relationships, developing family ties, and making memories that would last a lifetime. Relationships would be established that would forever be a part of our lives.

Travel was always a thing that the team looked forward to and planned for long in advance. The fact that Peoples played in 21 consecutive Church World Tournaments offered numerous opportunities for us to visit incredible vacation spots like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, as well as Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida. Also, we had the unique experience of playing in "hotspots" like Tupelo, Mississippi and Pine Bluff, Arkansas as well as Bossier City, Louisiana and Moore, Oklahoma. Overall Peoples ended with an incredible 81 wins and 38 losses in World Tournament play for a winning .681 pct. Included in these numbers were the three World Titles as well as three second place finishes and three third place endings.

The Peoples Church Team currently has eight members represented in the USSSA Washington State Softball Hall of Fame. Led by coach Steve Shackett, the list includes his brother pitcher Onie Shackett, pitcher and Utility-man David Nusser, catcher and designated hitter Jerry Henderson, SS Rich Van Dyke, 2nd baseman and designated hitter Dan Valentine, outfielder Todd Cooley and designated hitter big Doug Weston. The amazing thing about the Peoples Church Team is that over the course of 30 seasons, a core of seven or eight players remained constant while others were added to the mix throughout the years.