By now many of you know about how amazing the Coronado Youth Softball girls are. The program is built from a fall and spring recreational league, and has been around for about 12 years. However, in the summer is when it is game on….literally! It is All-Stars time. All Star teams range from U10, U12, and U14 players. Throughout the summer season they will play tournaments during the weekend, and about 3-4 practices a week. All-Star season is for the strong at heart!
The CYS U14 girls will be representing our town of Coronado in Nationals July 31st through August 6th up in Roseville, California. The coaching staff is comprised of Jason Smith, Tom Dull, and Rodney and Jannine Taeatafa. To get to Nationals these girls have to win enough games at the South San Diego Districts Tournament to qualify for the State Championship. Then the top teams from that tournament qualify for Nationals. The U14 girls won the South San Diego Championship and were finalists in the State Championship. They are now off to Nationals to face 39 of the best teams in the Western U.S. This is not the first time they have gone to Nationals. Last year’s U14 team qualified for Nationals, so half of the current team will be heading back this year to compete again. To get ready for these tournaments these young ladies have three to four practices a week that last about two hours. The pitchers and catchers will practice an additional two hours per week.
Who are these tenacious girls? Most of these girls have played together since U8. I spoke with Jason Smith, CYS League President, who said, “It’s pretty special to have a group of players that can stick together and still enjoy playing with one another. It’s also really cool to see the girls grow from a small eight year old barely being able to catch and hit to being able to play at such an intense level, preparing themselves to play at high school level.” Of the 14 players on the team, 12 of these girls attend school in the Coronado School District. I visited them at practice last evening, and got a chance to talk with the girls. In between laughs we talked about how they were all so excited to be going to nationals. Watching them interact with each other you can see they go beyond being just teammates, they are most certainly friends. Sydney Dull said, “I’m most excited to see all of the competition that we will get to see at nationals, and just hang out as a team.” Idaliz Castillo added, “I am also excited about seeing the new competition, and I have really high hopes for this team, and I think that we are going to do a really good job.” Natalie Gates wanted to add, “I am most excited to see how far we will get in this tournament.” Nessa Hudson, after some friendly persuasion and laughs, I asked her what she likes most about playing with this group of girls and she said, “I love how we all get along…..[they all broke out laughing].” Lastly, Katelyn Smith wanted to add, “I love playing with this team because we have played together our whole ‘life’ and since this is our last year, I am very excited to play together.”
Unlike other tournaments that are usually only through the weekend, Nationals run from July 31 through August 6th. Due to the nature and duration of this tournament there are many parents that can’t make it to be there with their girls. The cost to go to Nationals is substantial. The coaching staff and team members will need two 14 passenger vans, lodging for the week, and of course the fees to enter the tournament. All of this will cost about $7,000. President Jason Smith has set up a gofundme page to help raise funds so our girls can go to nationals. We are so incredibly proud of these hard working young ladies, and the fact they are representing our wonderful town of Coronado!
Good Luck girls!