With classes back in session and school softball teams getting back on the diamond, the five teams composing the South Georgia Fury program recently wrapped up play for the summer.
Though still a relatively new program, the Fury took some huge leaps forward this year. The Fury —which features 10U, 12U, 16U and a pair of 14U squads — competed in a total of 39 tournaments throughout the spring and summer. The teams combined for five tournament wins, 10 other second or third place showings, and one of the 14U squads finished as the seventh-ranked USSSA team in Georgia.
“I think that we’re starting to make a name for ourselves,” program director Bobby Costlow said. “A few years ago, none of our girls had any experience with travel ball. We took some lumps, but everyone who has stuck with it has really grown.”
As the wins continue to pile up, the organization is excited to keep moving towards its goal of providing its players with ample instruction and opportunities that could lead to college scholarships down the road. While many of the older Fury players will spend the next couple of months competing for their high school squads, the nature of travel softball routinely has the most talent — and draws the most scouts.
Costlow is adamant that the Fury’s players stay away from the mantra of “softball is life.” Team members are often encouraged to play other sports or participate in other activities. But as the girls grow older and the games get bigger and more competitive, there is no doubting that the Fury mean business every time they hit the field.
“I think that our girls recognize the effort that they have to put in to succeed at this level. We’ve got a lot of girls who are involved with other teams or activities, but they’re also very committed to improving their softball game.
“These girls want to continue playing after high school and there’s also the possibility of getting a scholarship to help pay for college. We don’t need to do much motivating. They tend to push themselves.”
As the school season carries on, the South Georgia Fury will prepare to ramp things back up. Tryouts will be held in late August for the 14U and 16U squads. The 10U and 12U teams will hold their tryouts in September. Exact times and locations will be posted at www.southgeorgiafury.com.
Costlow and the Fury invite all interested players to tryout, especially any pitchers in the 16U classification. The Fury is looking to compete in showcases all around the Southeast next year, as well as travelling to the ASA-A nationals.
“We’ve got some very good pitchers,” Costlow said. “But one more would really put us where we want to be. We want to be able to go out and compete with the best and have our girls seen by recruiters.”
Once the middle and high school season close out play, several of the Fury teams will play in some fall tournaments. After that, the organization will practice throughout the winter and spring before starting the 2014 tournament season.
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.