That Faster2First National Showcase featured elite athletes from 15 states--some flying in from as far away as California and Texas--to receive state-of-the-art athletic and softball skill personal evaluation, teaching and instruction from such noted national coaches as Rob Crews and the opportunity to compete in on-field drills and actual games.
Starting in early August, seven regional camps will be held prior to the concluding National Showcase to again be held in Myrtle Beach in early October which will feature a nationally broadcast All-Star contest. The 2017 focus is to reach out to over 125 talented players in each of eight different regions.
FloSoftball will live stream all of this summer and fall's events and provide editorial and social media coverage while using the F2F camps for player evaluation for consideration of the prestigious Hot 100 lists.
Here is the list of all event dates and locations:
- Pennsylvania / New Jersey - August 7-9, 2017 (Helen Randle Fields, Newtown PA)
- Virginia - August 18-20, 2017 (Wakefield Park, Annandale VA)
- New England - August 25-27, 2017 (Winslow Field, Warwick RI)
- West Des Moines, Iowa (September 1-3, 2017)
- Texas - September 8-10, 2017 (Craig Ranch, McKinney TX)
- Florida - September 22-24, 2017 (Historic Dodgertown, Vero Beach FL)
- California - September 29 -October 1, 2017 (Freedom Park, Sacramento, CA)
- Myrtle Beach National Showcase (October 6-8, 2017 - Ned Donkle Complex, Myrtle Beach SC)
Said FloSoftball's Brentt Eads, General Manager/Rights Acquisition, "We're constantly asked, 'How can I get my player considered for the Hot 100 lists?' This is a primary way and we are excited to continue our relationship with Faster2First. We at FloSoftball were very, very impressed with the quality of athletes and the efficiency of the December event and it really helped us confirm some athletes we thought were Hot 100 caliber while finding new ones who deserved to make the lists."
Three of the top 11 players in the recently released FloSoftball 2021 Hot 100 attended the December Faster2First camp and each was an all-star showing what they could do against elite competition including No. 2 ranked Brooke Blankenship, a shortstop from Florida committed to Florida State; No. 8 McKenzie Redoutey, an outfielder from North Carolina who has multiple SEC and ACC offers and No. 11 Kaylen Madrey, a middle infielder also from Georgia who also has multiple offers and is considering schools like LSU, Florida, Mizzou, Ole Miss, Michigan and Oklahoma.
Two other 2021s who impressed so much they made the Hot 100 included No. 27 Makenna Segal, a Georgia corner infielder who has SEC, Big Ten and ACC interest and No. 61 Sam Landry, a pitcher from Texas who was one of the stars of the December F2F in the circle and at the plate also where she hit two home runs.
The 2020 class was equally loaded with seven Hot 100 players led by a pair of Top 10 talents in No. 3-ranked Avery Goelz, a first baseman/outfielder Floridian committed to the Univ. of Florida and recently named as a 1st Team FloSoftball High School All-American as a freshman, and No. 6 shortstop Riley Blampied from Georgia who is committed to Alabama and who wowed onlookers in the defensive drills.
Perhaps the MVP of the entire event, however, was Taylor Middlebrook, an infielder from Georgia who was ranked No. 97 in the initial 2020 Hot 100, but will skyrocket after her power-display at Faster2First which included several bombs well over the fence.
Her great weekend was capped during the early December event when she committed to Mississippi State while at F2F.
As to why she attended the event, Taylor commented: "I believe I'm one of the best and I wanted to compete with the best!"
Added her mother, Marcia, "Taylor loved the Faster2First camp. Everyone on the staff was awesome and it was a great experience all around."
So who will be this year's emerging stars like those listed above? Time will tell, but the events not only will provide the exposure to confirm Hot 100 status, they will also provide benefits the athletes can take home with them.
Joe Van Valkenburg, The F2F Event Director, explains, "The enthusiasm was overwhelming in Myrtle Beach and it was never more apparent that there is a place for this type of platform in the fastpitch space because it allows the opportunity to independently evaluate each athlete's ability through metrics and video analysis in a credible, affordable way. The teaching after the testing is what separates Faster2First."
The teaching and testing components includes physical analysis such as vision and body strength, speed and agility; hitting drills measuring hand, bat, and exit speed along with swing analytics and position-specific drills compiling everything from pitch speed, spin revolution and pitch accuracy for those in the circle to pop time for the catchers and fielding and throwing velocity tests for infielders and outfielders.
For those interested in being considered for one of the approximate 150 spots at each venue, you can register on the Faster2First website by clicking HERE.
For more information, you can also email Joe Van Valkenburg at: firstname.lastname@example.org