Tuesday night tryouts were held by the Upper Perk Girls Softball League's U14 team at Camelot Park in Upper Hanover. Above, Sarah Snyder fields the throw to first base during an exercise.
In recent years the Upper Perkiomen Girls Softball program has tended to lack structure in comparison to other local youth athletic programs such as football, wrestling and baseball. However, in the past few years newfound efforts to organize a more successful and competitive softball program have been implemented.
This year program leaders are pleased to have a total of five active softball teams under their belt. These teams include the 10U and 12U Sunday select teams, 12U mini-travel team, U14 tournament team and the U16 “Scream” team. The U14 team is the most recent addition to the program, replacing last year’s U14 team which moved up to become the “Scream.” During the season these teams travel to up to 20 locations to compete in the sport.
“We’re glad to now have a 14U and 16U team which we didn’t have for years. This allows us to better improve the girls from Upper Perk and also the surrounding areas,” assistant “Scream” coach Denny Frank stated.
One major factor helping to move the program forward is their ability to fundraise. On July 28 the Upper Perkiomen Girls Softball League hosted their first-ever golf outing at the Macoby Run Golf Course. Both golfers and business sponsors helped make the event a success. Also in the past few months, the organization had arranged a dance fundraiser.
“We are still trying to expand to more travel teams, but are in need of more help especially with fundraising. We are also in need of a league secretary,” commented first-year league president, Dean Sullivan.
The league's ability to fundraise so well has thus enabled them to purchase uniforms, equipment, and pay tournament fees.
Another improvement is the introduction of intercommunity play for all of the various age groups. Combining with Upper Perk’s efforts are Boyertown, Souderton and North Penn. These districts are currently working towards developing a Saturday game schedule to accompany the U14 and U18 teams games held every other Sunday. Each age group within the league will continue to be assigned a practice night of Monday, Tuesday or Thursday.
“We still don’t have the numbers other teams have, but our short-term goals include fielding a good team this year. Next year we can then hope to be more successful in tournament play,” explained U14 head coach Jacquie Fretz.
Although the teams have been lacking numbers, Tuesday night’s U14 tryout demonstrated that the program is headed in the right direction with an excellent turnout.
“The league has quality players, families and faculty. We want to continue to develop the program and the players, and also keep it fun,” U14 assistant coach Joe Groarke remarked.
The last date to register for fall ball, which will run from September 8 through October 27, is Tuesday, August 14. Registration will take place at the pavilion at Camelot Park from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The registration fee is $55 and includes a t-shirt, insurance and instruction. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.