Learning season for new teams brings exciting success for Pratt youth and coaches
With more than 400 youth participating in summer softball and baseball programs through the Pratt Rec organization and other local-based travel teams this year, the ball diamonds around Pratt have been very busy. As the season winds down to a close this month, there have been many successes and learning expriences to note.
The Pratt Power 10 and under softball team has had a season to be proud of this summer with much to share. Head Coach Shane McGreevy, along with assistant coaches Lindsay Hildebrand and Tim Rector, are excited about their team's successes. Pratt Power is a relatively new softball program, beginning in the summer of 2020. It is made up of several traveling teams based out of Pratt. The season typically runs from April through July, however, there are also opportunities to play in tournaments during the fall season as well. It was started as a feeder program for Pratt High School softball.
Currently, there are two teams. One for youth ages 10-and-under, and the other for those 18-and-under. The head coaches of the 18-and-under team are Mike Forshee and Erika Householter. McGreevy said that Pratt Power would welcome any other age groups to the program in the future, if enough interest within those specific age groups and coaches can be found.
“Speaking for our 10u team, we don’t exclude anyone from participating in tryouts,” McGreevy said. “However, consideration will be given to those players who reside within the Pratt school district, as this is a feeder program to Pratt High School. My team will be playing 10u for one more year and then move up to 12u for the 2023 season. As long as a player is 10-years-old or younger on January 1, 2022, they are eligible to try out for this team.”
Most of the current players will be able to play at 10u again next year so there will be a few empty spots on our roster. McGreevy said that they are not sure of whether or not they will hold tryouts or just allow interested individuals to come work out with coaches in a private setting. Either way, that announcement will be made at the conclusion of this season. Those interested may "like" the Pratt Power Softball Facebook Page for the latest news and updates.
McGreevy said that both teams have done very well this year, and that it was only a matter of developing some pitchers and finding everyone’s skill set and get them in the proper positions.
“Honestly, I did not have very high expectations this year for our 10u team,” McGreevy said. “This was our entire rosters first year to play competitive travel ball with the exception of one player. I have watched most of these girls grow up playing ball in Pratt’s Recreation Program and I knew I was getting a good group of smart, athletic kids!”
Though, like many other learning processes, getting a handle on playing competitive ball takes time, McGreevy said this year's group of girls has been very coachable, eager to learn, and competitors when they step out on the field.
"That really helps to expedite the learning process," he said.
The overall season record for the 10 and under team is 11-7 which included a tournament win at the Dodge City Super C Tournament as well as an undefeated tournament appearance at the Hays Hitfest that the team was not able to finish due to weather. They finished out the season with a tournament in Wichita on July 16-18. The 18 and under team just wrapped up their season with a 16-2 record which included several tournament wins.
“I am just grateful for the opportunity to coach this group of kids,” McGreevy said. “We had some ups and downs this season, which I expected. But when you are able to go through it all with a team you really care about and enjoy being around, it makes softball FUN! And that is what it is all about. Trophies and medals are always nice, but the memories that are made are even better. It’s just icing on the cake when you are able to do both, and that is what we did this year. That is definitely something to be grateful for!”
McGreevy and his fellow coaches look forward to another great season of Pratt Power softball next year.