In just its second year of existence, the Richmond Hill-based Coastal Power travel softball program has seen much success.
Currently, there are four Coastal Power teams: 10 and Under, 11U, 14U and 16U. Each team has seen vast improvement from their initial year and has been raking in the hardware as of late while consistently placing in the top three in tournaments all over the state and beyond.
"Last year was a developmental year, and we lost a good bit of games," said Coastal Power director and 10U head coach Chad Newcomer. "I told the parents that last year we were chasing everyone, but by this year they’ll be chasing us. I’m proud to say that is indeed the case. These girls have done a tremendous job, and I’ve seen just an amazing amount of commitment from them."
Leading the pack is the 10U team, who have recently won four championships: ASA (Amateur Softball Association of America) tourneys in Statesboro and Savannah and WFC (World Fastpitch Connection) tourneys in Summerville and Brunswick. They’re playing for another title this weekend in Jacksonville and have plans to attend both the state and world tournaments in the coming weeks.
Newcomer said fellow coaches at the last two tournaments told him his 10U team is the best hitting team they’ve seen. Newcomer said the team excelled in other areas as well.
"Their base running is as aggressive as any team they’ve ever run against," he said. "As for pitching - proportionally, they’re running at college level. I couldn’t be more proud of them, and it’s a testament to their work ethic."
Newcomer said travel ball is the key to eventually getting noticed and gaining a collegiate softball scholarship. He said it also helps young ladies form friendships and strong virtues.
"It’s more than a sport, it’s a sisterhood to these kids," he said.
Tryouts for ages 8-16 are coming up in August and September. The Coastal Power program includes training from professional instructors that have all played Division 1 ball and beyond.
"When you have that type of role model to look up to, that is definitely one of our secrets to success," Newcomer said. "Another key ingredient is the parent support we’ve received thus far. None of this would have been possible without the amazing group of parents we have."
As for now, the team is looking toward the world competition July 12 in Panama City, Fla. They’ve already qualified for the event, which is slated to feature 70 teams from all over the country.
In between practice, they are having to raise funds to get there. Newcomer encourages any local businesses that would like to help to donate or in any way they can.
Among the fundraisers planned is a watermelon stand at a yet-to-be determined date and location.
For more information on Coastal Power, call Newcomer at 247-1948.