Current Issue / DU Alumni

Law school softball team marks 21st season

From left: Ned Sperry, Kevin Peters, Steve Meier, Murray Wilkening, Jay Shoemaker and Don Loyd.

Ned Sperry, MBA ’86, JD ’86, remembers playing softball as an undergrad in Boulder and seeing players in their 30s with their wives and kids watching. “I couldn’t believe people kept playing softball at that age,” Sperry says.

But when Sperry was in his first year of law school at DU in 1983, he did something that would seal his fate—he started an intramural softball team with fellow law students. Last year marked the team’s 21st consecutive season.

“Now look at us—most of us are in our 40s and 50s and we’re still playing,” Sperry, 46, says with a laugh.

Time flies when you’re having fun, and that’s what it’s all about for the group. Each year, softball serves as a magnet, pulling the men together from across metro Denver onto the hard, dusty diamond. There are no tournaments or practices, but there are always beers after the game.

“It’s purely a casual and social thing,” Sperry says. “That’s why we’ve stayed together so long.”

The 1983 team started with 15 players. Today, Sperry and seven others remain in the game: Roger Freeman, JD ’85; David Gibans, JD ’86; Don Loyd, MBA ’86, JD ’86; Steve Meier, JD ’85; Kevin Peters, JD ’85; Jay Shoemaker, JD ’85; and Murray Wilkening, JD ’85.

The team has added some other lawyers, a sales rep, a veterinarian and a golf pro. And last year, the son of the sales rep rejoined the team following a stint in Iraq.

“We’re slower around the bases, but we know our limits and we play smart,” Sperry says. “We’ve won our share of games.”

So will the team make it onto the field for season number 22? “I think we’ll play as long as we can,” Sperry says. “When the season starts, we just keep showing up.”

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