By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
South Georgia Fury turning some heads
Fury crop
The South GA Fury 16U team poses with the championship trophy after winning a tournament in Milledgeville last season. - photo by Special to the Herald

    In just over five years, the South Georgia Fury softball club has gone from a struggling, two-team operation into a growing success story that will field six teams and showcase 70 players in dozens of tournaments throughout the spring and summer.
    The Fury’s success isn’t limited to just roster size as the wins — in both single games and for entire tournaments — have begun to pile up over the last couple of seasons.
    “We take a little bit different approach than some other travel teams,” program director Bobby Costlow said. “We don’t practice or play when the school season is in session and we encourage our girls to play other sports or do other activities during some time in the year.
    “At the same time, we pride ourselves in having great coaches and hard-working players. When we’re on the field, we’re striving to improve and to win whenever we play.”
    Every team within the organization is expecting a winning season, but for the oldest girls on the 18U squad, the focus is shared by the prospects of continuing to play softball past the club and high school levels.
    Many of this season’s 18U team are still young enough to qualify for the 16U team, but previous success and the search of tougher competition has led them to the oldest age group. That high level of play also allows the players to get more exposure to the college coaches and recruiters that can often be found patrolling the fields during tournaments.
    Alexis Costlow has been with the Fury since its early days and will play out this season before competing for Statesboro High this coming fall in her senior year.
    An All-Subregion talent and team MVP, she has already talked to plenty of colleges interested in having her play.
    “It’s exciting to be able to talk to coaches, but it’s also more work,” Costlow said. “There’s a lot of extra effort involved with keeping in touch with coaches and reminding them about who your are. I think that (the Fury) is a big help in playing more games where we’re out there to be seen.”
    “Our coaches do a good job of helping us get letters together and contact (college) coaches,” SEB’s Morgan Joyner said. “In the fall, our focus is on our school team and helping them win region games. This is an extra opportunity to show what we can do.”
    While the Fury’s various teams have certainly been proving themselves in the win-loss column, they’re doing it while maintaining a close-knit group of local talent. Where many other successful travel teams are cobbled together with players from all over the map, all of the Fury’s members come from within — or just next door to — Bulloch County.
    As other organizations look to promote themselves on success built by finding the best players around, the Fury pride themselves on familiarity and consistency growing among teams with each passing season.
    “These girls have all grown up playing with each other or against each other every year,” Bobby Costlow said. “I think that helps our program. Everyone knows each other and is comfortable around one another. It helps everyone to be able to play their game and be able to trust what their teammates around them can do.”
    The Fury is already off to a solid start, claiming 12U and 18U tournament championships in limited fall action. Tournament play for teams will resume in March.

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9408.