What is to be done when your school has no middle school team in your sport, and by the time the players get to jv and varsity levels they are at a disadvantage? In Altavista as well as some other school in the area, this situation is the reality for many sports. The solution for baseball and softball among middle schoolers in Altavista is for the parents to form a team.
“Rookie League” softball
This year marked the debut of the Middle School Softball Club of Altavista. The team is not affiliated with the school, but rather is a non-profit organization which the girls’ parents established.
Club president and head coach Aaron Dowdy explained the genesis of the program and its purpose. “We got a group of parents together whose daughters played ball together. Other schools in the area have club teams for 6th and 7th grade girls. We decided it would be good for the program at the school to have a club team.”
He added, “The next step was to research how to put it together and fund it. We had a lot of area businesses and vendors contribute to it. The goal was just to have a competitive program for that age group and to build a core to send on to jv and then varsity and to have good, solid fundamentals.”
Also on the club’s board are Lee Stinnette (field & facilities), Shane Dowdy (operations & scheduling), and Jennifer Andrews (treasurer).
The group has been set up on a solid foundation so that after each cohort of girls advances to the jv team, the group will still be around for the next group of girls. “One of the main goals of the organization is to have a plan of continuity, so it’s been set up as a non-profit 501c3,” Dowdy noted.
For more on this story, see this week's Altavista Journal.