Monday October 24th, 2016

SoftballCenter’s 2016 Nationwide Conference Pre-Season Rankings! Team #1-40!


Note: I wrote this a month ago so my rankings have not been influenced by any tournaments in 2016



2016 Nationwide Conference USSSA


Pre-Season Rankings



Teams 1-40 listed below!


Rankings are for the most part done by classication groups with a few exceptions.  

Remember this is for fun and rosters and teams change throughout the season.  

2016 Team List

Click here for a look back at the final 2015 Computer Rankings  

Click here for a look back at the 2015 season preview

2016 Conference Make Up (40 teams):
 5 Major Teams
11 'AA' Teams
12 'A' Teams
12 'B' Teams

Note: most of the pictures in this article are from the past years



The Rankings are brought to you by:

Boombah Boss 3.0


#1 Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth (FL) (M)

 BJ Fulk
 Andy Purcell
 Bubba Mack
 Greg Connell
 Don Dedonatis Jr
 Jimmy Salas
 Jeremy Isenhower
 Nick Santana
 Howie Krause
 Andrew Collins
 Dan Sanchez
 Lee Payne
 Luis Reyna

 John Rector – Manager
 Frank Webb – Manager
 Travis Resmondo – Sponsor
 John Riccio – Sponsor 

 April USSSA Las Vegas
 April USSSA Hall of Fame Classic
 May USSSA Columbus, Ohio
 May USSSA Euless, Texas
 May USSSA Chattanooga
 June USSSA Chicago
 June USSSA Dudley
 July USSSA Smoky
 July USSSA Cincinnati
 August USSSA Michigan
 September Conference Championships
 September USSSA Major World Series

Sponsors Travis Resmondo and John Riccio are now 10 time USSSA Major World Series champions after winning again in 2015 for the 3rd straight year.  While Backman and Smash It Sports continue to try to close the gap between themselves and Resmondo it will be Resmondo who will be the favorites again in 2016.  Resmondo returns player of the century candidate Andy Purcell who's pitching late in close games is as good as it has ever been.  Resmondo returns Major World Series offensive MVP center fielder Nic Santana and the 2015 Conference MVP Greg Connell who led the league in on base percentage .811, homeruns 133, and RBI 341 to take the triple crown.  Connell will move to 1st base this year from second base defensively.

Outlook:  Most people feel that Resmondo is getting old because of their stranglehold on upper level softball for over a decade, however they have slowly replaced many of their players with the top up and coming younger talent.  Resmondo will be a force if pitcher Andy Purcell who is in his mid 40's can continue to dominate late in games.  Resmondo is a national team but they now have 7 players from the state of Florida which helps with the chemistry and allows for some home cooking at the big events at the beginning and end of the season.

Players to Watch: Resmondo lost slugger Lee Powers and left fielder Jeremy Yates who signed with Backman.  They picked up Smash It Sports shortstop Luis Reyna to play middle infield and will move veteran middle infielder Dennis Rulli to second base.  They also picked up veteran outfielder Lee Payne who will fight for playing time with Bubba Mack.  Mack may be used in a super utility role since he can play every position except for pitcher.  Note, manager Frank Webb has passed away since the writing of this preview and Resmondo has pulled out of the Hall of Fame Classic because it conflicts with his funeral.  That could affect the point standings but not the end result.



#2 Backman/Shoppe/Powerhouse Sportz/J&H/S&S/Louisville SLugger (IN) (M)


2016 Schedule:
April 1- 3  Las Vegas.
April 14 –  17 Dual Kissimmee.
May 6- 8 Columbus. OH
May 13-15 Euless, TX
May 20-22 Chattanooga, TN.
June 3-5 Carol Stream. IL
June 17-19 Dudley, MN
July 8-10 Smoky
July 15-17 Cincinnati, OH
Aug 5-7 Sterling Heights, MI
Sept 2-4  Conference Championship Kissimmee
Sept 21- 25   World Series Disney

Backman made some big moves in the offseason after finishing 3rd at the Major World Series in 2015 and 2nd at the Major in 2014.  They signed slugger Lee Powers and defensive ace left fielder Jeremy Yates from Resmondo.  They picked up the athletic second baseman Steven Lloyd from Smash It Sports and they signed sought after pitcher Andy Vitcak who led Precision to a 4th place finish in points last year.  They also get back outfielder Neil Haglund who returns after breaking his arm midyear.  Slugger Ryan Harvey, 1st baseman Terry Baggs, and infielder Orlando Castillo who all had outstanding 2015 campaigns also should take the next step toward the elite level.

Outlook: Backman on paper has moved to #2 in the country according to most critics.  But can they take that next step and compete week in and week out for tournament wins?  Last year they broke through and won Cincinnati and had a 16 run lead against Smash It Sports at the Major but lost it in the bottom of the 7th at the Major World Series which would have put them in the championship game.  That loss should provide motivation for this team in 2016.

Players to Watch:  Center fielder Brian Logan has the most range of any outfielder in the game.  Can he bring his on base percentage up some to roll the lineup to the top of the order?  The left side of the defense could be Lee Powers at 3rd and newcomer Ryan Stovall at shortstop.  Powers hasn't played much third base in recent years and Stovall is only in his second year in the Conference, can they get it done defensively or will Backman have to shuffle the defense all year to find the right mix?






#3 Smash It Sports/ASP/H.Auto/Easton (NY) (M)

Bryson Baker
Brian Wegman
Kyle Pearson
Kevin Filby
Mike Umscheid
Travis Clark
Buddy Wolf
Dale Brungardt
Kevin Bazat
Brett Helmer
Ryan Parfitt
Brad Reckart
Chris Hansen
Scott Kirby
Billy Messina

Pete Campbell
Steve Gentry
Bob Hortenbach

Billy Messina

Smash it Sports–Rick Schiffhauer
ASP Nation–Lyf Nimmo and Jason Wilkins
H.Auto–Bob Hortenbach
Easton Sports
Buffalo Wild Wings

 April USSSA Las Vegas
 April USSSA Hall of Fame Classic
 May USSSA Columbus, Ohio
 May USSSA Chattanooga
 June USSSA Chicago
 June USSSA Dudley
 July USSSA Smoky
 July USSSA Cincinnati
 August USSSA Michigan
 September Conference Championships
 September USSSA Major World Series
 September ASA Super

Smash It Sports lost the offseason free agent wars, lost the Major World Series at the end of 2015 to Resmondo…again, and come into 2016 as the 3rd ranked team.  Although it is very close 1 through 3, Smash It has some questions to answer.  They picked up Racks right fielder Buddy Wolf and utility men Brad Reckart and Chris Hansen.  They lost 2nd baseman Steven Lloyd and shortstop Luis Reyna.  Also 4 hitter Scott Kirby will most likely only play part time and go to the big events at the HOF, Smoky, and Major World Series.  Wegman had a nice year defensively in LF but needs to stay healthy and the top of their lineup with Bryson Baker and Wegman is as good as it gets offensively.   

Outlook:  This team will most likely spend the first half of the season working out their starting defense and their lineup with the big losses in roster strength.  They won't be as athletic but they do have a lot of experience.  Smash It will battle Backman to see who goes to the finals against Resmondo at the Major World Series just as they have done the past two seasons.  Can Kyle Pearson win a batting title?

Players to Watch: Can Buddy Wolf continue his rise as a premier left handed bat?  Can Scott Kirby be effective in a part time role?  Can pitcher Travis Clark who missed a chunk of last season with a foot injury make a comeback?  Extra Hitter Kevin Filby, 3rd Baseman Dale Brungardt, and super utility man Mike Umschied who may be asked to play shortstop all need to have big seasons if Smash It is to finish higher than 3rd.



#4 Team Combat/ (WA) (M)

Zachary Messer 
Brad Lunda 
John Williams 
Jason Wilkins 
Tommie Baugh 
GM: Don Cooper 
Manager: Jeff Wallace
Bench Coach/Stat: Hector Pagan 
3rd base : Bobby Nifong 
1st base : Matt Hunt 
2016 Schedule:
HOF dual
Combat dual
California Major
Michigan Last Chance
Conference Championships
USSSA Major World Series

Team Combat returns with a core of players from their 2016 team that finished tied for 7th at the Major World Series.  They picked up infielder Zach Messer, corner man John Williams, right fielder Brad Lunda, and pitcher Jason Wilkins from Compound Athletics.  They also picked up hitter Billy Maggard from Fence Brokers.  They return the meat of their order with leadoff man and center fielder Brian Zirkle, left fielder Filip Washington, 1st baseman Casey Rogowski, and the power hitting Chris Greinert.

Outlook: Team Combat gets the 4th ranking but will have to have a great season to finish there with Albicocco and others nipping at their heels.  Look for a top 7 in points from Team Combat.

Players to Watch:  The pitching is left to Tommie Baugh and Jason Wilkins who are fairly new to the Major level so lots of question marks here.  The quad of players they picked up from Compound Athletics likewise are new to the Major level and actually jump to Major from the 'B' level so more question marks for a team that has struggled in recent years.  Greinert needs to get back to mashing, Frank Yeilding needs to have another great year with the stick, and Zirkle and the other outfielders need to have a .700 on base percentage for Team Combat to compete with the "big 3".




#5 The Scene/Albicocco/Adiktiv/Monsta/Klutch (NY) (TBD)

Davis Bilardello
Jason Branch
Mike Cervantes
Chivas Clark
Chris Costantino
Brandon Dillon
Chente Granados
Kyler Kirkland
Keith Laski
Keith Martin
Cory Newman
Bill Pinkham
Brian Titus
Steve Whaley

Sponsor Toni Albicocco
Manager Jason Kendrick
Coach Frank Griffin
Coach/Statistician George Phillips
Travel Coordinator Kim Martin

Tentative Schedule:
April USSSA Houston
April USSSA Hall of Fame Classic
May USSSA Columbus, OH
May USSSA Atlanta
June USSSA Seattle Dual
July USSSA Smoky
July USSSA Cajun
August USSSA Michigan
September Conference Championships
September USSSA Major World Series

Albicocco is a returning sponsor but none of their players return from their 2015 team.  So this will be a new team under the management of longtime major star Jason Kendrick.  Jason has assembled an incredible array of talent led by the middle infielder's SS Keith Laski from Precision, MI Steve Whaley from TG Brand, and 2B Chente Granados from OC Swats.  To this they add a deep outfield with corner outfielders Davis Bilardello from Precision and Brandon Dillon from Red's Astros, and center fielder Cory Newman from Racks.  They will also have veteran leadoff hitter Jason Branch from Red's Astros.

Outlook: Albicocco is not necessarily a Major team comparable to the top 3 and are probably a year away from building to that level but can upset any team at any time on baseball sized fields or softball fields.  They will try to play spoiler in 2016 and then compete better at the Major in 2017.  When you consider the strength of this team up the middle they definitely have the look of a Major level team and could finish as high as 4th in the point standings.

Players to Watch:  Albicocco has a lot of experience and should come together as a new team as far as having good chemistry.  They have solid power with Bilardello, Dillon, and Branch.  The question marks are at the corner infield positions with Chris Constantino at third base and Chivas Clark coming over from Primetime at 1st base and veteran catcher Keith Martin all coming from lower teams.  They have a good mix of lefties and righties in the lineup also.  Their pitching is also a bit in question with veteran Bill Pinkham entering the conference for the first time and left hand pitcher Brian Titus coming over from Team Combat.



#6 Line Drive/R & M Metals/Easton (MI) (AA)

Pat Burton IF
Alex Henry P/C
Colby Hughes OF
Adam Kaminski IF
Cory Large IF/OF
Brian McBryde IF/OF
Faron Miller P
Michael Ortiz OF
Joel Ramos IF/Coach
Josh Riley IF/OF/C/AH
Sid Stephany OF/C/AH
Adam Tennyson IF/OF
Adam Ussery IF

2016 Schedule:
 April 1-3 6th Annual Sin City Classic Las Vegas, NV
 April 14-17 USSSA Hall of Fame Classic Dual Event Kissimmee, FL
 May 6-8 4th Annual Columbus BATS Major Columbus, OH
 June 3-5 Windy City Invitational Carol Stream, IL
 June 17-19 34th Annual Dudley/Budweiser Brooklyn Center, MN
 July 8-10 48th Smoky Mountain Classic Maryville, TN
 July 15-17 17th Cincinnati Men"s Major Cincinnati, OH
 August 5-7 29th Annual Last Chance Major Sterling Heights, MI
 Sept 2-4 Conference Championships Kissimmee, FL
 Sept 16-18 Men's AA World Championship Kissimmee, FL
 Sept 21-24 Men's Major World Series Disney, FL

Line Drive returns to the Conference after disbanding their USSSA 'A' World Championship team after the 2014 season and sitting out 2015.  They quickly grabbed the league's top young available players and assembled them into a top ranked 'AA' team.  They picked up some ex-Line Drive players in pitcher Faron Miller and outfielder Cory Large.  They grabbed 4 players off of the 2015 USSSA 'A' World Champion Fence Brokers team – pitcher Alex Henry, MI Brian McBryde, CF Colby Hughes, and SS Pat Burton.  And they grabbed free agent's outfielder Sid Stephany and infielder Josh Riley from Albicocco.

Outlook: Line Drive is the favorite in a very loaded 'AA' division.  They have the sponsorship and leadership that has gotten this done before and they are deep on youth and talent.  If all the younger players step up their game as they should and everyone buys into the team first concept that manager Fred Budnarowski preaches, they will be there on Sunday at the USSSA 'AA' Worlds.

Players to Watch: Middle infielder Brian McBryde has only played one season in the Conference but his spectacular defensive ability is a difference maker.  Miller and Henry at pitcher are a contrast of finesse and power.  How good is Michael Ortiz after a year of experience with the Major Team Smash It Sports last year?  They also picked up slugger Adam Kaminski who has been amongst the league's best in on base percentage with TG Brand the past two seasons.



#7 Newbreed/GTS/Beus Excavation/ (WA) (AA)


Jon Gastineau
Scott Rockwell
Nick Manganaro
Antonio Sepulveda
DJ Hollinsworth
Rolando Rodriguez
Mike Powers
Chuck Garmon
Nick Utley
Jeff Flood
Ryan Goodman
Victor Cordova
Donovan Pokraka
Chris Hoshaw
Adam Rockoff
Cole Patterson
Danny Connell
Geo Miller
Stan Beus
Beau Hamilton

Manager Ryan Lekness
Newbreed / Aaron Poysky
Beus Excavation / Stan Beus
GTS / Beau Hamilton Carrie Hoshaw
DR Drywall / Don Lekness / Robert Hendren
Worth / Mike Cornell

2016 Schedule:
Kings of the NW March 25-27
Vegas April 1-3
Florida dual April 13-17
Columbus May 6-8 
Windy City June 3-5
Seattle dual June 9-12
Smoky July 8-10
Portland July 22-24
Detroit August 5-7
Conference Sept 2-4
AA worlds Sept 16-18
Major Sept 21-25

Newbreed finished 18th in the Conference point standings in 2015 and then went last October to the ASA 'B' Nationals and got on a roll and won it!  They followed that up with a win at the prestigious offseason tournament the USSSA Toys 4 Tots in Palm Springs, California in December.  Manager Ryan Lekness has developed a strong chemistry with their nucleus of young talent starting with outfielder Jon Gastineau, middle infielder Nick Utley, and pitcher Cole Patterson and built a team full of top available major players around them.  They added outfielder Nick Mangannaro from Team Combat, slugger Adam Rockoff from Bad Draw, infielder Jeff Flood from Albicocco, and longtime GTL infielder Victor Cordova for some veteran leadership.  They also already had veteran hitters Chris Hoshaw and Donovan Pokraka.

Outlook: Newbreed has stepped up their game, sponsorship, and roster depth and will be a top 'AA' team this season and should qualify for the USSSA Major World Series in the top 8 seeds.  The key to this team's success is to be able to bring in these Major players they added in the offseason to a team that had finally developed winning chemistry at the end of 2015.

Players to Watch: Jon Gastineau has torn up the Conference circuit in his first two years and his game is similar to a Ryan Parfitt with a motor that doesn't quit.  Patterson at pitcher has quickly become one of the better young pitchers in the game and is being talked about as a possible addition to the team USA Future Stars for 2016.



#8 Team Racks/Miken/Sonnys (WY) (AA)

Team Racks
Stevie Lopez
Dan Kirkwood
Brian Lipman
Stuart Snell
Brett Breezy Rettenmeier
Tyson Steele
Sammy Christensen
Kevin Ballard
Lex Ramirez
Aj Montano
Aaron Martinez
Nick Price
Brendt Newbill
Jon Nelson
Sonny Pilcher

2016 Schedule
Last Chance
USSSA Major World

Possibly 1 more tournament


Team Racks returns with Sonny Pilcher in the dugout as sponsor/manager after a year where they finished 11th in the points, 7th at 'A' Worlds, and 9th at the Major.  They won one tournament in 2015 in Colorado.  Racks lost a lot of talent when Buddy Wolf, Cory Newman, and Kyle Moyer left.  But they replenished their team by picking up OC Swats 1st baseman and the best base hitter in the game Stevie Lopez, power hitter Brian Lipman from Combat, and outfielder Dan Kirkwood from Precision.  They also retain a core of players like the athletic middle infielder Aaron Martinez, the sure handed third baseman Sammy Christensen, and consistent left fielder Nick Price.

Outlook: With Sonny being able to be in the dugout each week Racks should have a renewed focus and finish better at the AA and Major Worlds and win a few of the smaller events like Colorado and possibly one of the Seattle Majors.

Players to Watch:  Brett Rettenmeier is one of the many new and young middle infielders in the game and should take another step towards being a major player.  It will be interesting to see how the Brendt Newbill/Tyson Steele tandem do at pitcher as both like to take the mound the majority of the time.  And power hitter Stuart Snell starts his 4th year in the conference and is becoming one of the elite power hitters in the game.



#9 OC Swats / Lomanco / Miken (CA) (AA)

Ed "The Kid" Vega
Dustin Roberts
Mike Brambilla
Isaac Gonzales
Paul Winner

Ryan Mcclanahan
Chris Stamper
Nick Mitschke
Pilar Amaya

Eli Aguilar
Charlie Hinojosa
Brandon Patzig
Mike Beldon
Daniel Mcclement

Manager – Henri Nuber
Coach – Ric Doerflinger
Coach – Tim Taylor

Darick Publishing
Doerflinger Software

2016 Schedule:
Apr 1-3 Las Vegas
Apr 14-17 Orlando (Duel)
Apr 30-May 1st Phoenix
May 28-29 Atlanta
Jun 9-12 Seattle (Duel)
Jun 25-26 Perris
Jul 2-3 Little Rock
Jul 8-10 Smokey
July 29-31 Denver
Aug 5-7 Last Chance (Tentative)
Sept 2-4 Orlando (Conference Championship)
Sept 16-18 Orlando (AA World Championship)



OC Swats continues their steady rise through the Conference divisions.  Just a few years ago they were a new Conference 'C' team.  Now they are one of the staples and finished an impressive 8th in the point standings, and first at the USSSA 'B' Worlds a year ago.  They also won the Phoenix and California Majors.  USSSA for 2016 has created a new division 'AA' and OC Swats who would have normally jumped to the 'A' division will instead go to 'AA' as the association bumps the Conference 'B' teams to 'A' and the 'A' teams to 'AA'.  Swats lost some talent in the Granados brothers and third baseman Matt Fox, but they return veteran pitcher Paul Winner, and picked up former Vivid slugger Isaac Gonzales and power hitting catcher Dustin Roberts.

Outlook: The team's sponsors Henri Nuber and Ric Doerflinger have added to the managerial staff with one of the best in former Team 454 manager Tim Taylor and the team has as much power as any 'AA' team.  Swats should have a shot at the top 10.

Players to Watch: OC Swats has a lot of young talent and the progression of utility man Charlie Hinojosa who will get a shot at left field, newly acquired center fielder Chris Stamper from Above All, and middle infield defensive wizard Nick Mitschke from Steele will ultimately determine how high in the 'AA' division they go this year.



#10 Precision/Under Armour (IL) (AA)

Bill Wax
Brett McCollum
Matt Rear
Mark Holstein
Chris Geron
Jeff Keske
Seth Burgmeier
Frank Fracek
Bryan Porter
Tristan Reimolds
Jeff Baird
Justin Mucciarelli
Tyler Kahlke
Jordan Llanas
Bo Andrews
Evan Gallmeier

Houston, TX TBD
Kissimmee, FL
Columbus, OH
Chattanooga, TN
Carol Stream, IL
Indianapolis, IN
Maryville, TN
Cincinnati, OH
Sterling Heights, MI
Conference Championships
AA World
Major World


Precision had a wild offseason as they attempted to merge with Red's Astros to form another Major team.  Plans for this merger fell through though and Precision was left scrambling to build a 'AA' team after some of their top players pitcher Andy Vitcak, outfielder Dan Kirkwood, outfielder Davis Bilardello, and shortstop Keith Laski moved on.  Precision who finished 4th in the points, 2nd at USSSA 'A' Worlds, 9th at the Major, and won 11 games against Major teams in 2015 has a deep bench though and will fill in the missing positions with guys that have played for them in the past.

Outlook: Precisions success over the last 3 years has been due to great management from Bill Wax and Todd Ankney coupled with excellent team chemistry from a core of players from the Chicago, Illinois area.  This will continue as they give some new players a shot in 2016.

Players to Watch: Brett McCollum should have the green light on hitting it deep with the new Conference rule that 'A' and 'AA' teams get to hit 12 home runs per game instead of the normal 8 in years past.  They return veterans in 3rd baseman Matt Rear and catcher Chris Geron among others.  The new players they will give a shot to are infielders Tristan Reimolds and Jeff Baird and they expect center fielder Bryan Porter and IF Jeff Keske to continue to progress.  To all of this they added veteran pitcher Justin "Mooch" Mucciarelli, former 'A' World champ outfielder Evan Gallmeier, and 16-inch softball star Mark Holstein.



#11 TG/Red's Astros/Headlines/K&G/Worth (OH) (AA)

Travis Dale               OF/IF          Red's Astros
Ryan Curl                 OF              Tailgaters
Ryan Disbennett      OF              TG Brand
Ryan Noe                 3B              TG Brand
Troy Krider              SS/Middle   Red's Astros
Rocky Staton            Middle/IF   Pure Romance
Steve Edwards          2B/IF          Red's Astros
Chad Mullins            1B/C/EH     Red's Astros
Jimmy Carter            1B/OF        Pure Romance
Brandon Jonas          P                Pure Romance
Rob Roop                 P/3B/1B     Red's Astros
Jon Jamison             C/EH/1B     Pure Romance
Cory Boothe            OF/C/EH     Red's Astros
Brandon Bellamy      IF/Utility     Pure Romance
Ben Cosgrove      IF/Utility     Pure Romance
Vince Leslie      Utility    
John DeJarnette          Utility/Sponsor    Good Wood

Mike Cornell                 Sponsor Equipment    Worth
Herb Price                    Sponsor/GM  Astro Sports
Andy Wilson                    Sponsor/GM  Wilson Concrete
Red Moore                   Field Manager
Ben Cosgrove              Sponsor/GM Headlines
Karl Knight                  Sponsor  K&G
Sonny Yamcharern       Stats/Coach
Jerry "Snake" Scudder   Team Nutritionist/Coach

March 19-20       GSL MOJO Early Bird             Columbus, Ohio
April 9                 USSSA Roosters No Mercy         Louisville, KY
April 14-17         USSSA HOF Dual                  Kissimmee, FL
April 22-24         USSSA Indy Major     Indianapolis, IN
May 6-8              USSSA Columbus BATS Major       Columbus, OH
May 20-22          USSSA Choo-Choo Classic Major   Chattanooga, TN
June 3-5             USSSA Windy City Major          Carol Stream, IL
June 25-26         GSL King of the Hill            Columbus, OH
July 2-3              USSSA Busch Major               Little Rock, AR  (tentative)
July 8-10            USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic    Maryville, TN
July 15-17          USSSA Cincy Major NIT           Cincinnati, OH
August 5-7        USSSA Last Chance Major         Sterling Heights, MI
Sept. 2-4           USSSA Conference                Kissimmee, FL
Sept. 16-18       USSSA "AA" World Series         Kissimmee, FL
Sept.  21-25      USSSA Major World Series        Kissimmee, FL
Sept 29-Oct 2    ASA  Class A Nationals          Oklahoma City, OK  (tentative)

TG/Red's is a result of the Red's Astros failed merger with Precision in the offseason.  After the merger failed Red's general manager Herb Price merged with TG Brand and Headlines sponsors to form a top 'AA' team.  Red's brings the power hitters in catcher Chad Mullins and extra hitter Cory Boothe as well as infielders Travis Dale, Steve Edwards, Troy Krider, and utility man Rob Roop.  TG brings outfielder Ryan Disbennet, and Headlines brings the rest of the players including pitcher Brandon Jonas, and big time hitters 1st baseman Jimmy Carter and catcher Jon Jamison.

Outlook: Mergers don't normally work.  This one has a chance as the sponsors involved understand their roles and are for the most part from the same general area of the country.  There are a lot of moving pieces here but all the players are conference veterans and this has a chance to work.  Worst case they make the Major and best case they make it to Sunday at 'AA' Worlds where anything can happen.  In true Red's Astros fashion, they have a huge schedule and have included ASA 'A' Nationals so they should have success at some point.  Look for that success to come early with a win at the Indiana Major in April.

Players to Watch: Middle infielders Rocky Staton and Brandon Bellamy are not known for their offense and will have to be effective at times turning over the lineup.  Jonas is a very capable pitcher and can keep this team in games and they can make long runs in the loser's bracket because there are no quitters on this team which is always a fan favorite.



#12 Xtreme/Miken (MN) (AA)

2016 Xtreme/Miken
Matt McGowan – LF
Ben Dunn – CF
Alex Bremer – RF
Jason Higgins – OF
Andrew Miller – 1B
Seth Brown – IF
Brandon O Neal – IF
Joe Skyles – IF
Tim Nielson – IF
Shannon Smith – 3B
Losson White – P
Lyf Nimmo – P/EH
Todd Newton – C/EH
Dustin Palm – C/EH

Coach – Dan Bergeron
Coach – Dave Bremer
Scorekeeper – Mary Bistodeau

Sponsors – Xtreme Cut & Design and Miken Sports

2016 Schedule:
Sin City Classic – Las Vegas, NV
USSSA Hall of Fame Classic – Kissimmee, FL
4th Annual Columbus Bats – Columbus, OH
2nd Annual Choo Choo Classic – Chattanooga, TN
Windy City Invitational – Carol Stream, IL
34th Annual Dudley/Budweiser – Brooklyn Center, MN
48th Smokey Mountain Classic – Maryville, TN
32nd Annual Rocky Mountain Shootout – Aurora, CO
29th Annual Last Chance Major – Sterling Hgts, MI

Xtreme/Miken returns to the Conference after a 2015 season where they finished 9th in points, 13th at USSSA 'A' Worlds, 9th at the Major, and won the Atlanta Major and GSL 'A' World.  Xtreme adds the rangy Ben Dunn in center field, left handed veteran Losson White at pitcher, Brandon O'Neal from PRI at second base, infielder Tim Nielson from Eurotech, and power hitter Lyf Nimmo from Compound Athletics to a core of players that play the game the way it is supposed to be played.

Outlook: Xtreme will have to step it up some to compete at the top of the 'AA' division but they are capable of beating their peers on any given day.

Players to Watch: Xtreme power hitter Shannon Smith had a monster year in 2015 with a .790 on base percentage, 42 HR, and 110 RBI.  Smith and 1st baseman Andrew Miller (.698) will have to be a big part of the offense with a lineup that adds some depth with newcomers O'Neal and Nimmo and retains veterans Todd Newton and Dustin Palm.



#13 Eurotech/Elite Media Designs/Easton (MN) (AA)

Brandon Newman
Cory Hines
Colin Baartman
Ryan Hassler
Dirk Updike
Allan Ouellette
Mark Harvanko
Justin Barber
Patrick Ellwanger
Joe Ehnstrom
Curtis Stewart
Mike Dill
Denis Fisher

Bob Hortenbach   Head coach

Scott Meyer Asst. Coach

Jim Kuntz Statistician

Seth Thorson.  Eurotech
Mark Fischer.   Elite Media Design
Brett Helmer.    Easton

2016 Schedule:
Las Vegas NV
Hall of fame dual FL
Columbus OH
Chattanooga TN
Chicago IL
Dudley MN
Maryville TN
Cincinnati OH
Detroit MI
Worlds FL

Eurotech returns with a new team name, they were called Encompass last year.  In 2015 they finished 3rd at USSSA 'B' Worlds, 13th at the Major, and 12th in points.  They are at the lower end of 'AA' and rely on great team chemistry led by their left handed outfielders Colin Baartman and Patrick Ellwanger who have a knack for the dramatic with game winning walk off homers.  Their pitcher Allan Ouellette and sophomore shortstop Ryan Hassler are a big part of their team's attitude and hustle as well.  And they have some big right hand bats sprinkled throughout the lineup as well with Curtis Stewart, Justin Barber, and Cory Hines.  They also added veterans Mike Dill from Above All and infielder Denis Fisher from Precision to the team to go with third baseman Joe Ehnstrom and middle man Brandon Newman who steady the defense.

Outlook: Manager Bob Hortenbach returns to the team replacing last year's manager Mike Beardsley who did a nice job.  The chemistry is automatic with this team who often plays the teams above them better than the teams below them.

Players to Watch: Hassler could be an all-conference performer this year.  Stewart who returns after a year with Precision could put up some big offensive numbers, and a healthy Mike Dill and newly acquired Denis Fisher should extend the top half of the lineup to 8 or 9 deep. The new additions could put this team where they want to be, which is on an even playing field with the best in 'AA'.

Eurotech Auto Repair & Service Center near Minneapolis, MN
specializes in foreign auto services including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, VW, and Mini Coopers



#14 Bad Draw/Broughton/Worth (NC) (AA)

Joe Dorton        
Nekeyma Wright
John Dutch
Scott Napierata
David Forbes
Tyler Wilson
Brian Faria
Chad Durick
Chad Folsom
Evan Jarman
Mike Williams
Freddie Bynum
Matt Bunn
Richard Napierata
Daniel Lopez
Konata Owens

Toby Williams
Brandon Cashwell

Broughton Pharm
Wesley's Housing
VIP Sportswear

SSAA Hall of Fame Final 4
Usssa Hall of Fame Classic
4th Annual Columbus BATS Major
2nd Annual Choo Choo Classic
Windy City Invitational
48th Smoky Mountain Classic
17th Cincinnati Men's Major
29th Annual Last Chance Major

Bad Draw returns to the conference for their 3rd season with a newly revamped team.  Brandon Cashwells team struggled during the regular season in 2015 but came on strong with a 4th place at the USSSA 'B' Worlds, 2nd place at the GSL 'A', a 9th at the USSSA 'A', and managed to slip into the Major World Series as the 17th seed.  This year they lost Adam Rockoff and Matt Tindell but picked up outfielders Nekeyma Wright and the speedy Mike Williams from Primetime.  They grabbed 3rd baseman Chad Folsom from OI Livingston, infielder and FBI star Chad Durick, and shortstop Brian Faria from Albicocco.  They also grabbed power hitter Joe Dorton from TG Brand.  An interesting team with good team speed.

Outlook:  This team could be lacking some power but with Freddie Bynum, Mike Williams, and Evan Jarman they may have the fastest outfield in the game.  With that lack of power they should be able to free swing top to bottom in the lineup which could have some interesting results.

Players to Watch:  Freddie Bynum is a talent that keeps improving.  Durick can be a beast and a big part of the lineup.  And infielder Brian Faria came on strong at the end of 2015 for Albicocco and should have a big year.

Freddie Bynum and Brian Faria



#15 TM Sports Mizuno (VA) (AA)

OF Steele Lewis  #19
OF Joseph Bennett #99
OF Wally Maybrier #18
3B Clif Williamson  #10
SS Ian Sidebottom #2
MI John Sullivan  #3
2B Scotty Langford  #21
1B Jason Martel  #27
UT Chris Cooper #22
P   Dan Bean    #15
Utl Robert Blackburn  #17
Utl Rick Leith  
Utl Mike Ragan  
Utl Edward Bolden  
Coach Chris Calcutt  #4
Coach  Chyenne Brooks #28
Coach Shawn Hale  #30
Coach Tommy Whisnant  #00
Coach Billy Register  #44
Coach Dale Neve   #77

April USSSA Hall of Fame Classic
May USSSA Columbus
May USSSA Chattanooga
July USSSA Smoky
July USSSA Cincinnati
September Conference Championships
September USSSA 'AA' World
September USSSA Major World Series

Taylormade returns to the Conference after their sponsors shut the team down in 2015 after having a team in the Conference from 2006 to 2014.  They bring back infielders Scotty Langford, Clif Williamson, and Rick Leith from their 2014 team.  They picked up veteran pitcher Dan Bean, middle infield wizard John Sullivan who is recovering from a broken ankle, and veteran Reds outfielder Wally Maybrier.  They will also give some up and comers a shot like Ian Sidebottom and Joseph Bennett.  They also gave Canadian star Steele Lewis his first shot at Conference play and their main force offensively will be Robert Blackburn who was the 2014 Conference batting champion.

Outlook: Quite a collection of good talent that could mesh well and surprise a few people.  Lewis, Maybrier, Martel, and Blackburn should provide the power and they have enough managers to field a second team. 🙂

Players to Watch: Canadian Steele Lewis is an exciting player to watch play and it will be interesting to see his hitting transition to the USSSA game.  A healthy John Sullivan would be one of the best defenders in the game up the middle.

Canadian star Steele Lewis and Robert Blackburn



#16 Vivid/Worth (TX) (AA)

Vivid Worth
P – Jason Bridges
C/EH – Zach Keene
2B – Dennis Shrum
SS – Chris Smith
MI – Jason Williams
1B/C/EH – Spence Foley
LF – Justin Stuart
CF – Kenny Hare
1B/RF – Thomas Crump
P/EH – Addison Rayford
C/EH – Keith Austin
C/EH – Jon Kilburn
Utility – Taylor Albrecht
3B – Matt Fox
RF – Tim Howard
P – Stephen Cooper
Coach – Jeff Whitman

Vivid Worth Tentative Schedule:
Space City – Houston TX 4/8 – 4/10
Hall Of Fame – Orlando FL – 4/14 – 4/17
BATS Major – Columbus OH – 5/6 – 5/8
Texas Legends – Euless TX – 5/13 – 5/15
Choo Choo Classic – Chattanooga  TN – 4/20 – 4/22
Sooner – Tulsa OK – 6/10-6/12
Busch Pepsi – Little Rock AR – 7/1-7/3
Smoky Moutain Classic – 7/8 – 7/10
Cajun Classic – Carencro LA- 7/22 – 7/424
Last Chance – Detroit MI – 8/5 – 8/7

Vivid retools their roster for 2015 after many of their players scattered to 'A' teams in the offseason.  They picked up outfielder Tim Howard, catcher Zach Keene, and pitcher Jason Bridges from FBI's 'A' world championship team.  They also grabbed outfielder Justin Stuart, middle infielder Jason Williams, and shortstop Chris Smith from the old Buzini team.  Finally, they grabbed third baseman Matt Fox from OC Swats and pitcher Addison Rayford from Bear Hollow.  The team is sponsored by Jon Kilburn of Vivid Software and his 2015 team finished tied for 7th at the Major World Series after winning 3 games.

Outlook:  Vivid will start as a 'AA' team since they have so many 'AA' rated players.  They will fight to make the Major World Series and have the talent to do so.

Players to Watch: Who will take over the pitching for this team as they have Bridges, Rayford, and former Compound Athletics pitcher Stephen Cooper?  Players like Matt Fox and Dennis Shrum should have big years in the home run department.

Note: after writing this they picked up Chris Larsen.

Matt Fox and Tim Howard



Results of the Fan Poll ranking the 2016 Nationwide Conference USSSA 'AA' Teams!



The Conference 'A' Teams!


#17 3rd Street/Bull Dawg/Louisville Slugger (OH) (A)

Brad Tabler and Tommy Melton


Brad Tabler (Reds)

Bobby Noeth Jr (3rd Street)

Tommy Melton (Semper)

Jesse Solomon (Vivid)

Justin Evans (TG Brand)

Bryan Daniel (Vivid)

Josh Kirsten (Vivid)

Dave Kessler (3rd Street)

Cam Byars (Semper)

Jason Matusik (3rd Street)

Rob Menke (3rd Street)

Jason Magnum (3rd Street)

Robert Noeth IV (3rd Street)

Robert Mahaffey (3rd Street) 


Donnie Munford (3rd Street) Coach/Sponsor, Bull Dawg Trucking

Mike Cruea (TG Brand) Coach

John Matusik – Sponsor, Florida Atlantic Iron Works

Dennis Turner – Sponsor, Louisville Slugger

Doug Reed – Coach


2016 Schedule:
Orlando Dual
USSSA A Worlds
Conference Championship
USSSA Major Worlds

3rd Street is back with their best team yet.  They are led by outfielders Dave Kessler and 2nd year star Jason Matusik.  They added athletic middle man Tommy Melton, power hitting former Red's Astros catcher Brad Tabler, and VCH shortstop Jesse Solomon among others.  Veteran pitcher Bobby Noeth is returning from a leg injury and the young Cam Byars who pitched for Semper last year will split up the pitching duties.

Outlook: 3rd Street will make a run at the Major after a 2015 where they finished 19th in the points and 17th at the USSSA 'B' Worlds.  This team is on the bubble of being a 'AA' team so they will be closely watched in the early part of the season.

Players to Watch: Matusik, Solomon, and Melton are exciting players to watch and they all could take great leaps forward and catapult this team to a Major qualification.  Kessler also looks to rebound with a big season after an ankle injury hurt his Major level career with Backman the past two seasons.



#18 Above All/Evo9x/Miken (NJ) (A)

Tony Elrod
Tom Paturzo
Dave Miller
Grant Grimmett 
Willie Allen
Jesse Campanelli 
Chris Wilson
Mike Cirillo 
Jason Hoynowski
Ryon Rabon
Clint Murray
Zach Ross
Eric Curry
Billy Aker
Sean Ulmer

Brian Doc Kildea: Manager
Jerry Vitale: 1st base coach
Joe Benanti: Sponsor
Evo9x: Sponsor
Miken: Sponsor

2016 Tentative Schedule:


Fla Duals

Columbus Major

Peach State


Cincy Major

Maryland Major

Last Chance

A Worlds

Major WS (if qualified)

Above All Landscaping picked up veteran outfielder Chris Wilson, infielder Grant Grimmett from Encompass, free agent outfielder Mike Cirillo from Florida, and pitcher Eric Curry from CGR.  They add this to the core they already had in big left handed 1st baseman Dave Miller, Willie "the glove" Allen at middle infield, and the dynamic duo of shortstop Jesse Campanelli and center fielder Jason Hoynowski.  Above All lost the services of Mike Dill who went to Eurotech and outfielder Chris Stamper who went to OC Swats.

Outlook: Above All finished 25th in the Conference point standings and 9th at the USSSA 'B' Worlds last year.  They look to improve in all aspects of their game in 2016 and look to build off their 2nd place finish at the ASA 'B' Nationals at the end of last season.  In 2015 they won the Conference Qualifier so it does seem this team peaks towards the end of the season each year.

Players to Watch: Tom Paturzo their catcher is a professional hitter, Ryon Rabon has a cannon in the outfield, and it will be interesting to see who becomes the #1 pitcher between Elrod and Curry.

Tom Paturzo and David Miller will lead the Above All offense



#19 Bear Hollow (TX) (A)


Bear Hollow returns to the Conference after a 34th place finish in points a year ago.  The high-lite of their 2015 season was a third place at the Cajun Major.  But this year they have turned over almost their entire roster which will be managed by USSSA 'C' World Champion skipper Tim Barnes.  He has brought with him a mix of players from all over the country.  He has a Texas contingent in infielders Chris Potts, shortstop Marcus Thornton and Cooper Vittitow as well as pitcher Danny Evans.  He has some hitting in former Compound Athletics catcher Matt Vern, former Classic Glass first baseman Sean Boldt, and FBI slugger Tim Bowser.  And he adds in Conference veteran Jason Ferguson from Ohio, pitcher Mike Brown from Nightmare, third baseman Tyler Driskell from OI Livingston, and center fielder Matt Schrage from T's 13.

Outlook: Bear Hollow is completely revamped and should compete with 3rd Street and Above All for the top of the USSSA 'A' division with an outside shot at a Major berth.  The core of this team shocked the softball community with a big win at the ASA 'A' Nationals this past October.

Players to Watch: Mike Brown has had some good years offensively in the Conference and is a big left handed stick who can also pitch.  The "Texas" chemistry on this team could be contagious and another player to watch is the versatile IF/OF Tyler Driskell who is a bit of an unknown talent.

Mike Brown and Tyler Driskell



#20 Nightmare/Miken (MO) (A)

Nolan Fogle
Reb Smith
Tre Gothard
Clay Smitherman
TD Thrash
Zane Trammell
Jason Trammell
Justin Beal
Cory Briggs
John Brown
Andre Magallon
Charles Newell
Joseph Talley

Argen Dodds
Shawn Wrinkle

Manager Bob Ellis
Coach Benjamin Ramos
Coach Brian Mclain
Sponsor: Nolan Fogle Enterprises
Sponsor: Mike Cornell Miken/Worth
2016 Schedule:
April 1-3 VEGAS
April 14-17 DUAL
May 13-15 EULESS
May 28-29 ATLANTA
June 10-12 TULSA
June 17-19 MINNY
July 8-10 SMOKY
July 22-24 CAJUN………. **TENTATIVE**
August 5-7 DETROIT
August 19-21 Men’s A WORLDS
September 2-4 Conference Championships
September 21-25 Men’s Major World Series

Nightmare is sponsored by second baseman Nolan Fogle and are back again for another year in the Conference.  They have a huge schedule and a revamped roster.  They added the Trammell brothers and pitcher Charles Newell from Vivid, Justin Beal and Joseph Talley from Bear Hollow, and the power hitting Argen Dodds returns to the team from Texas.  They also kept a core of players from last year's team.

Outlook: Nightmare is aggressively pursuing making the Major World Series and has a schedule that can do it.  They recently won a big offseason USSSA tournament in Texas and should hit the ground ready to go in Las Vegas to start the season.  If everyone makes their normal improvements that young players are capable of, Nightmare will slip into the top 16.

Players to Watch: Newell at pitcher has led two teams to the Major that weren't expected to be there the past two seasons.   Joe Talley is an interesting player capable of big things, and manager Bob Ellis has put together a top 20 caliber team this year.



#21 Semper/Demarini/Klutch/Timbuktu (USA) (A)

Coach: Ike Rivers
Coach: Pony Vinson
Coach: Charlie Graham
Statistician: Pam Bell
 Dexter Avery
 Leon Bass
 Kevin Basinger
 Tre' Campbell
 Patrick Farrell
 Mike Horton
 Willis James
 Mike Jenkins
 Mike Mallory
 Chris Markey
 Lenny Myers
 Maikeld Quarles
 Trenton Simms
 Kevin Watkins
 Josh Wiggs
 Travis Wollison

Semper returns to the Conference for their 2nd season after a 2015 where they finished 21st in the points and did not qualify for the Major.  The highlight of the season was their 5 wins at the Columbus, Ohio Major.  Semper lost their leading hitter Tommy Melton and one of their field leaders Clayton Shaw but restock their roster with Willis James the shortstop from Primetime, and left handed hitter Tre' Campbell also from Primetime.  Josh Wiggs, Dexter Avery, and the versatile Trenton Simms lead the returning group.  Semper is run by Ike Rivers and Darwin Vinson and their players are military veterans so its easy to pull for this team.  Semper will try to return to the Major this year and have three avenues to get there.  First is the Conference points standings and trying to finish in the top 16.  2nd is the Military Worlds where the champion gets an automatic berth.  And finally there is the Conference Qualifier tournament over Labor Day Weekend where the highest non-qualified team gets the final berth.

Willis James





#22 Buffalo Wings and Rings (KY) (A)

Shaun Ballard
Landon Helm
Todd Boucher
Josh Fryman
Chris Berry
Heath Barnes
Anthony Ottrando
Billy Carson
Adam Shoopman.
Chad Hockensmith
Chuck May
Lou Mongelli
Josh Lindstrom

2016 schedule:
Hall of Fame Dual
Indy Major
Columbus Major
Chattanooga Major
Smoky Mountain Classic
Cincy Major
Detroit Major

Buffalo Wings and Rings is a new team out of Kentucky run by Shaun Ballard and Lou Mongelli.  They have a few guys that have played Conference including infielder Josh Fryman and Pitcher/1B Landon Helm, as well as outfielder Adam Shoopman and others.  I am told to keep an eye on shortstop Heath Barnes who is supposed to be a good one with the glove.  This team is new, has a big points schedule, and should have good chemistry but look for them to take their lumps at the big  events.

Shaun Ballard has put together a strong new team





#23 Slayer (KY) (A)

Richie Adams (Southern Comfort) – Utility
Tony Boyd (Southern Comfort) – 3B
Billy Dennis (KG/Slayer) – C/1B/RF
Chad Emberton (Hub City) – Hitter
Alonzo "Choo" Fields (Dizzy Roosters) – Hitter
Trey Gilliland (Team Combat) – OF
Corey Jackson (KG/Slayer) – LF/C
Joel Kintner (KG/Slayer) – P
John Zorich (PRI) – OF
Mike McDowell (Hub City) – SS/M
Gillie Melton (KG/Slayer) – Hitter
Craig Richmond (D&D Grocery) – OF
Aaron Sandoval (Showtime) – SS/M
Tyler Scott (Hub City) – Utility
Clayton Shaw (4 The Fallen) – Utility
Brandon Sisson (KG/Slayer) – 1B
Joe Sutherland (Dizzy Roosters) – P
PJ Garcia – P
Buddy Welsh (KG/Slayer) – 2B

Manager – Joel Kintner
Coach – Joe Bisinger
Coach – Jack Vaught

KB Contracting
Carriage Ford

2016 Slayer Schedule:
April 9 – Show No Mercy (Louisville)
April 14-17 – Hall Of Fame Dual (Kissimmee)
April 23-24 – Circle City Classic (Indianapolis)
May 6-8 – BATS Major (Columbus)
May 20-22 – Choo Choo Classic (Chattanooga)
May 28-29 – Peach State Shootout (Atlanta)
June 18-19 – WSL Pic O Dixie (Chattanooga)
July 8-10 – Smoky Mountain Classic (Marysville)
July 15-17 – Cincy Major (Cincinnati)
Aug 19-21 – USSSA A World (Kissimmee)
Sep 2-5 – GSL World (Columbus)
Sep 21-25 – USSSA Major (Kissimmee)

Slayer returns to the Conference after a 2015 season where they finished 32nd in the points and struggled to win more than 2 games in a league event.  They did have that memorable walk off homer to beat TG Brand at the USSSA 'B' Worlds and have picked up a lot of new players like outfielder Trey Gilliland, Semper utility man Clayton Shaw, and PRI outfielder John Zorich.  We don't know a lot about the rest of the team and there is a good chance I have them rated too high here but we will see how this comes together.  They have a nice schedule which includes non-Conference events where they can learn to win together.


Trey Gillilland and Clayton Shaw



#24 Classic Glass/Easton (CA) (A)

Kris Kelleher
Ricky Reavis
Adam Smylie
Chris Terry
Cameron Cox
Brandon Traylor
Cory Nottingham
Larry Sheedy
Jacob Emil
Tommy Formosa Jr.
Brandon Gooding
Vito Messina
Ryan Ramirez
George Cunha Coach

Tom Formosa – Manager
Donnie Hollingsworth – Manager

Classic Glass Sponsor's:
Tom Formosa Sr.
Tommy Formosa Jr.
Brett Helmer / Easton sports
2016 Schedule
April   USSSA Las Vegas
April   USSSA Hall of Fame Classic
April   USSSA Cactus Classic  AZ
May     USSSA Euless, Texas
June    USSSA Windy City, IL
June    USSSA Combat Major Kent, WA
June    USSSA Golden State Major Perris, CA
July    USSSA Mens Major Cincinnati, OH
July    USSSA Rose City Major Portland, OR
August  USSSA A World Florida
** Sept USSSA AA World
** Sept USSSA Major World Series

Classic Glass returns to the Conference from Northern California with a fairly new team.  They return power hitting Adam Smylie, pitcher/utility man Brandon Traylor, and lefty Chris Terry.  They picked up former 4 The Fallen players Kris Kelleher and Brandon Gooding, as well as former Combat infielder Cameron Cox.  The rest like former Upper Deck 1st baseman Jacob Emil and pitcher Larry Sheedy are fairly new to the Conference and this team will rely on that "newness" and team chemistry to try and make their mark for managers Tom Formosa and Don Hollingsworth.

Adam Smylie and Cameron Cox



#25 ShirtDoctors/Bomb Squad (FL) (A)

Bomb Squad uniforms and veteran Brett Melton

Brett Melton
Robert Knoblauch
Brad Marlette
Jimmie Waters
Jeremiah Henry
Kendrick Doggett
Jeff Roxby
John Holmes
Landon Chapman
Shawn Jones
Jeff Turnbow
Tony Flores
Rafael Negron

2016 Schedule:
Hall of Fame Classic
Columbus Major
Choo Choo Classic
Atlanta Peach

Jeremiah Henry
Brett Melton
Jimmie Waters
Don Cooper Combat

2015 Shirt Doctors team photo

Shirt Doctors is a new Conference team who has put together a team full of Florida talent. Pitcher Shawn Jones, ex-Combat infielder Tony Flores, shortstop Jeff Roxby, power hitter Kendrick Doggestt, ex Albicocco infielder Robert Knoblauch, and veteran Brett Melton will lead the team.  Most of the others also have some type of Conference experience.  Last year this Jimmie Waters built team was put together to play the USSSA 'A' Worlds and they ended up knocking out Compound Athletics 35-32 in an upset.  This team will be able to hold their own with 'A' and below teams and occasionally beat a 'AA' team.  Overall a great addition to Conference USSSA.

Veteran pitcher Shawn Jones and Kyndrich Doggett



#26 Primetime/Easton/Russell Star (GA) (A)


2016 Primetime and Jerblonski Jennings

 Reginald Austin
 LaMarquis Blake
 Ira Brown
 Rashard Brown
 Earl Bryant
 Joseph Casados
 Rod Copeland
 Lee Daniels
 Dennis Davison
 Donta Frazier
 Jerome Godfrey
 Marcus Henderson
 Aaron Jackson
 Denarra Jackson
 Jerblonski Jennings
 Antroine Mack
 Detorren Means
 Jarvis Riggins
 Devin Robinson
 Damian Smith
 Brandon Williams

 Tony Goodson
 Russell Starr
 Randy Whitfield

April USSSA Hall of Fame Classic
May USSSA Columbus
May USSSA Chattanooga
May USSSA Atlanta
July USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic
July USSSA Cincinnati
July USSSA USSSA 'A' Worlds
July USSSA USSSA 'B' Worlds

Primetime has been in the Conference for a long time and is looking to get back to the USSSA Major World Series.  They lost a few players like 1st baseman Chivas Clar, center fielder Mike Williams, right fielder Keyma Wright, and shortstop Willis James.  But they return a core of veterans like pitcher Dennis Davison, infielder Tony Mack, and veteran hitter Earl Bryant among others.  The Conference looks forward to seeing some of the new players listed on the Primetime roster as they always give new talent a chance.  Primetime plays every weekend somewhere it seems like and this year Tony Goodsons team will be a strong contender in the 'A' division.


Tony Mack and Dennis Davison 



#27 JBL/Tailgaters/B&E/Worth (OH) (A)


JBL at the 2016 GSL Mojo and Chris Hoffer

Tim Sheeler (Tailgaters)
Bill Lewis (Tailgaters)
Chris Miller (Tailgaters)
Chris Hoffer (TG)
Jonathan Dombrowski (Tailgaters)
Matt Miller (VCH)
Ryan Roppel (VCH)
Darren Graham (Tailgaters)
DJ Schreckengost (Tailgaters)
Kenny Balderson (Tailgaters)
Mike Noffsinger (Tailgaters)
Jesse Young (Tailgaters)
Doug Ruble (Tailgaters)
Mike Dzanaj (Tailgaters)
Doug Kosmerl (Tailgaters)
Charles Cunningaham
Jamie Simpson
Mike Fiorelli (One Cut)

Mike Paterak- Sponsor (Tailgaters)
Bill Lewis- Sponsor (JBL)
Jay Elkin- Sponsor (B&E)
Cliff Majni- Coach

April USSSA Hall of Fame Classic
April USSSA Indiana
May USSSA Columbus
June USSSA Chicago
July USSSA Smoky
July USSSA Cincinnati
August USSSA Michigan
August USSSA 'A' World
September USSSA Major World Series

JBL/Tailgaters return to the Conference after a year away.  They have added some talent in former TG outfielder Chris Hoffer, former VCH pitcher Matt Miller and third baseman Ryan Roppel, infielder Jamie Simpson from P&P333, and veteran Charles Cunningham from Newbreed.  They have some old vets like Tim Sheeler, Bill Lewis, and pitcher Doug Kosmerl.  I probably should have ranked this team a little higher after their 2nd place finish at the GSL Mojo Moneyball tournament which had some great competition.  A fun team from the Ohio/Pennsylvania/Michigan area who needs to pull some upsets over AA teams in order to break the top 20 and they have to shake their reputation as an ASA team.  This is the team that over the years produced Buddy Wolf, John Sullivan, and Zach Messer among others so they know how to find talented players.


JBL at the 2015 ASA Nationals and veteran pitcher Doug Kosmerl




Casey Brown
Daniel Del Hierro
Ethan Dillon
Manuel Galvan III
Tyler Green
Larry Juarez Jr
Erik Kanaby
Taylor Lobb
Ethan Maresh
Matt Pavlich
David Prahm
Jonell Rosa
Patrick Rubio
Kippon Todhunter


JUNE-SOONER                           TULSA,OKLAHOMA
JULY-BUSH                                 LITTLE ROCK,ARKANSAS
JULY-CAJUN                               CARENCRO,LOUISIANA




AllOut joins the Conference as an 'A' team for the first time.  They are a bit of an unknown team who have a young and up and coming pitcher Larry Juarez who was the MVP of the USSSA “C” worlds last year.  They picked up shortstop Ethan Maresh, 1st baseman David Prahm, center fielder Casey Brown, catcher Taylor Lobb, and extra hitter Nelly Rosa from Steel.  They have two talented newcomers in middle infielder Tyler Green and 2nd baseman Patrick Rubio.  And Manny Galvan will play third base, Ethan Dillon from Bear Hollow will play right field, and Erik Kanaby will play left field.  Matthew Pavlich and Manuel Bijarro will run the team.  Some of these guys were involved with the ALLOUT/DaBomb team from a few years ago that upset Resmondo Friday night at the Euless Major.




Results of the Fan Poll ranking the 2016 Nationwide Conference USSSA 'A' Teams!



The Conference 'B' Teams!


#29 Steel Athletics / Miken / Powerhouse Sportz (TX) (B)


2015 Steel team picture and infielder Matthew Vasquez

Bobby Mitchell
Toby Letak
Cedrick Johnson
Ethan Gunn
Cole Campbell
Richard Salazar
Pedro Hernandez
Nick Shay
Matthew Vasquez
Rodney Fail
Donte Lapoint
Mark Cridland
Arthur Ramos
Mark Holsonbaock

April USSSA Houston
May USSSA Euless, Texas
May USSSA Atlanta
June USSSA Tulsa
July USSSA Arkansas
July USSSA Smoky
July USSSA Cajun
August USSSA Michigan
August USSSA 'A' World
September USSSA 'B' World

Steel enters their second year in the Conference as one of the top 'B' teams in the country.  They return a core of great players in infielder Matthew Vasquez, second baseman Mark Cridland, 3B Pedro Hernandez, C Nick Shay, IF Donte LaPoint, pitcher Rodney Fail and others.  They also picked up shortstop Toby Letak from Nightmare, Cole Campbell who had a short run with TG Brand, infielder Richard Salazar who has played with various Conference teams, and pitcher Cedrick Johnson.  Steel won 5 Texas tournaments in 2015 including the Stockyards Shootout Conference Affiliate and finished 9th at 'C' Worlds, and tied for 5th at 'B' Worlds last year.  They lost one of their pitchers and a couple outfielders and lost middle infielder Nick Mitschke to OC Swats but it should be next man up for the Texas team that upset Backman at the Maryland Major a year ago.  Mark Holsonbock the manager has put together another solid team and could finishe in the top 25 or higher if they added some of the bigger points tournaments.



#30 Stars/ Garretsons/DH Global Logistics (CO) (B)

#1 Josh Charlton
#3 Weston Tallon
#4 Tyler Garretson
#6 Anthony Wehr
#8 Jon Gibbens
#9 Tony Shockley
#10 Brian Therkildsen
#11 Will Sanchez
#16 Danny Higa
#19 Nick Balentine
#21 Grady Corcoran
#27 Jake Morton
Jarrod Purvis
Chad Loudon
#44 Dan Norquist

Sponsor/Manager Will Sanchez

2016 Schedule:
4/1-4/3         SIN CITY CLASSIC       LAS VEGAS
4/30-5/1       CACTUS CLASSIC        PHOENIX
5/13-5/15     TEXAS LEGENDS         DALLAS
6/9-6/12       COMBAT MAJOR         SEATTLE
7/29 -7/31    RMSO MAJOR             DENVER
9/24-9/25     USSSA B WORLDS       ORLANDO

Stars return a few players from their 2015 USSSA 'C' World runner up team and add in a whole bunch of new players like SS Wes Tallon, pitcher Chad Loudon, power hitter Dan Norquist, and Anthony Wehr from Peak.  MI/CF Jon Gibbens from OC Swats among others.  Stars will play a western schedule and look for them to be a contender in their home state of Colorado at the major there at the end of July.

Veteran pitcher Chad Loudon, the talented Jon Gibbens, and Anthony Wehr will lead Stars



#31 Olmito Heat/DiamondKingz/Miken (TX) (B)

Mike Aguirre
Mark Burnias
Brandon Cano
Gilbert Castillo
Carlos Gallardo
Brian Goelz
Ryan Hornback
Charlie Lenhard
Steven Malay
Garvin Mikesh
Julio Ruiz
Jacob Runte
William Sandifer
Sean Weatherford
Everett Williams

April USSSA Houston
May USSSA Euless, Texas
May USSSA Atlanta
June USSSA Tulsa
July USSSA Arkansas
July USSSA Cajun
September USSSA 'B' World

The Olmito Heat from Texas will dip their toe into the Conference pool in 2016.  They bring an exciting brand of softball with speed and defense and what looks to be an all Texas roster.  Olmito is doing what most new Conference teams should do and sticking to the smaller events where they have a chance to get more games in and learn to make it to Sunday.  Good luck Olmito and thanks for the hard work of putting a quality team on the field.  I see they added one of the better "unknown" free agent players in center fielder Everett Williams!



#32 Rebel Sports/ASP/Miken (MI) (B)

Last years team picture and newcomer Kenny Geiersbach

OF Brian Blay
IF/OF Kenny Geiersbach
IF Shannan Green
P Chris Lopez
C Thomas Luna
IF Corey McMahon
OF Clinton Miller
IF Michael Newsted
OF/C Brian Puckett
OF Kevin Raisor
OF Zach Renner
P JJ Schmizzi
IF Trent Sizemore
OF Kyle Slicker
IF Justin Smith
IF/P Bradley Sparks

Manager: Mike Rosenthal

Sponsor – JJ Schmizzi – Rebel Sports
Equipment – Thomas Luna – Miken
Uniforms – Lyf Nimmo – ASPNation

2016 Schedule
April USSSA Hall of Fame Classic
April USSSA Indianapolis Major
May USSSA Columbus Major
May USSSA Chattanooga Major
June USSSA Chicago Major
June GSL King of the Hill
July USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic
July USSSA Cincinnati Major
August USSSA Michigan Major
September GSL 'B' Worlds or Conference Championships
September USSSA 'B' Worlds
September USSSA Major World Series if qualified

Rebel returns to the conference with a team put together by manager Mike Rosenthal, Sponsor JJ Schmizzi, and long time conference veteran player Thomas Luna after a year where their greatest success was their first tournament in Las Vegas where they went 4-2.  They also ended up the season finishing tied for 9th at the USSSA 'C' Worlds.  In between they struggled except for the regional 'C' tournaments where they won their state championship.  Rebel has moved to the "new" 'B' division this year and should compete well there.  Rebel added Zach Renner and Kenny Geiersbach from Slayer, and Brian Puckett from P&P 333 among others.  Look for Rebel to be improved and they have quite a schedule so they will be tested early and often at Conference events and will have to win some early games against big teams to improve on their pre-season ranking of 32nd.





#33 All In/PSB/Wiggles Sports/Elite (PA) (B)


Jake Shiflett-OF
Adam Weimer-OF/IF
Greg Hawkins-OF
Brandon Doughty-OF
Wilie Thomas-OF
Tanai Alston-IF
Mike Koerntgen-IF
Mike Buxton-IF
Brandon Tardio-IF
Josh Bolyard-P
Dane Ridenour-IF
Craig Hoone_IF
Tim Riley-P
Dan Glazier-IF
Josh George-IF
John Robinson-IF
Randy Rankin-OF
Jimmy King-IF
Gregg Matthews-IF
Brian Mays-OF

Tom Bradley- Manager/Sponsor
Bill Gottschalk-Coach/Sponsor
Pittsburgh Sports Bar
Wiggles Sports

2016 Schedule:
Feb 5-7    Freedom Winter Worlds   Myrtle Beach SC
Mar 19-20  GSL Mojo Madness        Columbus OH
Apr 9-10   Spring Razorback           York PA
Apr 14-17  Orlando Duals               Orlando FL
Apr 30-1   Hall of Fame Classic       Marietta OH
May 6-8    Columbus Major             Columbus OH
May 28-19  Beast of the East           Richmond VA
Jun  Chicago Major    
Jun 25-26  GSL King of the Hill       Columbus OH
Jul 8-10   Smoky Major                   Maryville TN
Jul 15-17  Cincy Major                    Cincinnati Oh
Jul 29-31  Maryland Major              Glen Burnie MD
Aug 6-7    ASA States                     Drifton PA
Aug 13-14  GSL B States                 Columbus OH
Sept 2-4   ASA Nationals                Oklahoma City OK
Sept 24-25 USSSA B World Series   Orlando Fl

Another new Conference 'B' team this time from Pennsylvania. They will be led by veteran pitcher Tim Riley and hitter John Robinson.  They finished 7th at 'C' Worlds in 2015 and have an aggressive schedule set for 2016.  We should get an early look at All-In at the Mojo Moneyball on March 19th!  I cannot stress enough that these 'B' teams pre-season ranked from 30th and below can finish in any order.

Masher John Robinson



#34 Bay Area Legends (CA) (B)


Gilbert and Smith lead the Bay Area Legends into the Conference in 2016


2016 Schedule

Bay Area Legends is a new Conference team who will start out in the 'B' division and the classification committee will get a better look at in Vegas, Orlando, and Phoenix to better determine where they belong.  They have a few guys with conference experience in former Classic Glass players Adam Alva, Dameon Smith, and Jason Romero and big Corey Gilbert will provide some power.  Corey played with GTS and played on the team that won ASA 'B' Nationals last fall.  This should be a scrappy team but we will have to find out if they are up for the Conference grind but overall a very welcome addition to the western upper level.



#35 ASP/Venom (WI) (B)

Zak Mueller
John Hooks Jr
Jordan Scherr
Ryan Czyz
Tony Harper
Jeremy Maginn
Jesse Bogard
Gary Clemons
Danny Gonzalez
Mike Jacobson
Alex Burkel
Nolan Goff
Ron Nissen
Daniel Hall
Ross Huebner
Hobi Nieves
Justin Wicinski
Michael Pauly

Manager Patrick Gaddy
Stats  Doug Simons

Sponsor – Jason Wilkins

2016 Schedule:
Apr 14-17 Orlando
April 22-24 Indianapolis
May 6-8 Corky's
June 3-5 Chicago
June 17-19 Minneapolis/Dudley
July 15-17 Cincinnati
Aug 5-7 Sterling Heights

ASP-Venom joins the Conference for the first time out of Wisconsin.  We don't know a lot about them other than they finished 5th in the USSSA 'C' Worlds and were auto bumped to 'B'.  They picked up outfielders Ryan Czyz and Ross Huebner from the folded Compound Athletics team from 2015 and veteran and former EWS pitcher Justin Wicinski looks to do some of the pitching.  This team had good spirit in the one time we remember them playing in a conference tournament at Chicago a year ago when they gave Encompass and All Season a run for their money.


Former Compound Athletics outfielders Ryan Czyz and Ross Huebner



#36 Thunder/ (NY) (B)

Veteran Joe Gordon will try to lead the Thunder

Matthew Zurawel
Kyle Olsen
Nicholas Runstadler
Arturo Enrique Barcelo III
Micah Schnurstein
Daniel Dunn
Dominic Ciliotta
Angelo Marsella
Matthew Timmons
Chris Goyette
Joseph Gordon
Seth Green
Joshua Green
Jake Kessler
CJ Baumgartner
Dennis Nourry
Christopher Perez
Josh Haglund

2016 Schedule:
April – Vegas
April – Dual (Florida)
May- Columbus
May- Chattanooga
June- Chicago
July- Cincinnati
August- Michigan
September- Conference Championship*
September- B Worlds

Thunder joins the Conference with a team put together by Seth Green after a 3rd place finish at the USSSA 'C' Worlds in 2015.  Their roster consists of a few players that have some Conference experience with teams like Checking (Haglund, Baumgartner) and Darkside (Marsella) in the past and they picked up a couple of players from the Stars team that finished 2nd at the USSSA 'C' Worlds.  Thunder has an aggressive schedule which plays most all of the big points tournaments but they will have to battle through the losers bracket at each to have a shot at the Major and the "money".  Veteran Joe Gordon who won 'A' Worlds with Fence Brokers in 2015 is their biggest "name" player but this should be a scrappy team capable of finishing higher than this pre-season #36 ranking.  Teams #30 through #36 are all pretty equal so to put a number on any one of them is probably a mistake.  This team should add Maryland to the schedule in order to play a tournament where they can have a Sunday finish.  Every team needs 1 or 2 of those! 



#37 SOL Softball/Castle Sports (MO) (B)

Randy Clark
Marty Clements
Jeremy DelosSantos
Brandon Brokaw
Ryan Jackson
Rick Jungermann
Drew Sims
Brennen Hoelscher
Nate Seaman
William Dooley
Blaine Barth 
Ryan Kummer
Tyler McAllister
Sean Grosinic
Scott Krutel
Nick Vance

Manager-Randy Clark
Sponsor-CastleSports-EatRite-BR building and Remodeling LLC

2016 Schedule:
Little Rock



#38 STL/Mizuno/Sportsmanshop (IN) (B)

Brian Goins
Brian Tveita
Erik Fredrick
Scott Jacobs
Craig Kolb
Korey Harris
Corey Hancock
Jeff Jacobs
Matt Paradise
Brian Spenn
Jake Stambeezee
Sean Richardson
Tim Sadler
Bob Jacobs

Hof Dual
B worlds
A worlds

Possible tourneys as well
Space city
Dudley (mpls)
Circle city

The Sportsmanshop group is back with Senior star Tim Sadler, Brian Tveita, the Jacobs brothers, and they added veteran left hand stick Brian Goins.  It has been tough sledding in the conference for this team for many years but this does appear to be their best team so far and as always these guys are pure softball junkies who love the game!


Brian Tveita and Tim Sadler



#39 Team Adiktiv/Energy Systems/Worth (FL) (B)

Mike Westfall-Coach Sponsor
Danny Marshall-Coach Sponsor
Andrew Pinckley
Ryan McCrory
Brad Barnowsky
Cody Kilpatrick
Adam Barberi
Matt Michael
Will Weakley
Russ Christoff
Cody Pack

April USSSA Las Vegas
April USSSA Hall of Fame Classic
May USSSA Euless, Texas
May USSSA Atlanta
July USSSA Smoky
July USSSA Cajun
August USSSA Michigan

Mike Westfall brings Adiktiv to the conference in 2016 from Florida!  They have veteran pitchers Brad Barnowsky and Andrew Pinckley. Westfall, Barberi, Michael, Weakley (Primetime), and Cody Pack all have conference experience.  This team was put together late in the offseason so it will be interesting to see how they mesh.  They should finish higher than #39 when the dust settles.

Adiktiv pitcher Drew Pinckley



#40 TG Brand (MI) (B)


CF Ryan Morrow and SS Josh Masden will lead a new TG Brand team

TG Brand is a new conference team with just a few players like outfielder Ryan Morrow and defensive wizar Josh Masden (SS) from their conference team of the last 4 years.  They also have a number of the P&P 333 players from Conference teams of years past.  They will move up the rankings after they send in their roster most likely to the middle of the other conference 'B' teams.  They just joined the conference this week.



Results of the Fan Poll ranking the 2016 Nationwide Conference USSSA 'B' Teams!


2016 Conference Make Up (40 teams):
 5 Major Teams
11 'AA' Teams
12 'A' Teams
12 'B' Teams

2015 Conference Make Up (46 teams):
 6 Major Teams
12 'A' Teams
20 'B' Teams
 8 'C' Teams

2014 Conference Make Up (53 teams):
 4 Major Teams
 9 'A' Teams
23 'B' Teams
17 'C' Teams

2013 Conference Make Up (47 teams):
 4 Major Teams
 8 'A' Teams
20 'B' Teams
15 'C' Teams

2012 Conference Make Up (41 teams):
 4 Major Teams
 9 'A' Teams
21 'B' Teams
 7 'C' Teams

2011 Conference Make Up (38 teams):
 4 Major Teams
10 'A' Teams
20 'B' Teams
 4 'C' Teams

2010 Conference Make Up (34 teams):
 2 Major Teams
11 'A' Teams
15 'B' Teams
 5 'C' Teams
 1 'D' Team

2 responses to “SoftballCenter’s 2016 Nationwide Conference Pre-Season Rankings! Team #1-40!”

  1. Dirty says:

    Who is CL playing with DW?

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