JD Emmert played in sports throughout his life, including baseball. But he didn’t know much about softball.

A few years ago, Emmert’s wife took their then-8-year-old daughter to sign up for a team. His daughter came back, begging her dad to coach her team. How could he say no?

Emmert’s daughter, now 12, has participated in acting, swimming, basketball, soccer and other activities. But her dad said softball is the sport she loves for the teammates who have become friends and for the competition.

So Emmert is still coaching. And is still learning.

“I just coached a great group of girls and am still coaching a great group of girls,” he said. “(Softball is) a perfect combination of team sport and individual challenges.”

Emmert is now the president of the Bozeman Stealers Fastpitch board and coaches one of the teams. The program is hosting the Bozeman Blast youth softball tournament, which began Friday and concluded Sunday, at the Bozeman Softball Complex.

Bozeman has four teams at the tournament and Belgrade has five as part of a 39-team field from across Montana as well as Wyoming and Canada.

Emmert also noted that 42 local businesses purchased banners to put up around the complex for sponsorships.

“It brings a lot of people to town,” Emmert said. “I think it’s grown in size and popularity.”

Emmert, who’s been involved with Bozeman Stealers Fastpitch for two years, said the tournament is hosted at the complex so the kids can play under the lights during night games, which he said is “pretty fun for the kids.”

“For me, youth sports keep youths active, engaged and involved,” Emmert said. “They teach life lessons from teamwork and communication. Those are big things.”

Colton Pool can be reached at cpool@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.