Thursday June 21st, 2018
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SoftballCenter’s 2018 Nationwide Conference Pre-Season Rankings! Teams #1, 2, 3 Revealed

 

Softball Center's 2018 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.  I will release 1 or 2 new teams per day as I count down to the #1 pre-season team in the nation by the start of the season in Las Vegas April 6th!  

Remember this is for fun and with over 500 roster moves in Conference per year, the rosters and teams change throughout the season.

2018 Probable Team List

Click here for a look back at the final 2017 Computer Rankings  

Click here for a look back at the 2017 SoftballCenter pre-season rankings!

2018 Conference Make Up (40 teams):
3 Major Teams
Approximately 8 'AA' Teams
Approximately 17 'A' Teams
Approximately 12 'B' Teams

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


 

#1 Smash It Sports/Thunder/Backman/TDB/S&S/Miken/Worth


Jason Branch
Andy Purcell
Kyle Pearson
Luis Reyna
Ryan Harvey
Nic Santana
Brandon Dillon
Josh Riley
Don Dedonatis
Cory Briggs
Adam Ussery
Lee Payne
Brian McBryde
Andrew Vitcak

Manager/Sponsor: Jason Kendrick
Manager: John Rector
Sponsor: Seth Green
Sponsor: Jerry Backman
Sponsor: Tim Franks
Sponsor: Scott Sunderland

Tentative Schedule:
War on the Shore
Las Vegas
Hall of Fame Classic
Chattanooga
Euless, Texas
Chicago
INDY
DUDLEY or Seattle  (depends on when the TEAM USA thing is scheduled)
Smoky
Cincinnati
Columbus, Ohio
(Maybe NSA Super in August) in Chattanooga
USSSA Conference Championships
USSSA Major World Series

Smash It Sports won 10 of the 13 most prestigious tournaments of 2017 including the unlimited home run Smoky Mountain Classic and the USSSA Major World Series!  And somehow in the offseason they added the nation's best hitter 1st baseman Kyle Pearson (792, 84 HR, 212 RBI) from Resmondo, pitcher Andrew Vitcak who is considered the 2nd best pitcher from Thunder, and they get younger and better defensively with the addition of former Thunder infielders Adam Ussery (739, 50 HR, 143 RBI), Brian McBryde(712, 55 HR, 151 RBI), and Josh Riley(735, 64 HR, 171 RBI).  They also added two of their Major competitor's sponsors in Thunder's Seth Green and Backman sponsor Jerry Backman.  They did lose veteran 2nd baseman Dennis Rulli and 2017 USSSA Major World Series MVP outfielder Andrew Collins.

Outlook: The new additions outweigh the loss of two championship caliber players and the team is a heavy favorite to dominate the top level of softball in 2018.  Manager's Jason Kendrick and John Rector have a much deeper team in 2018 and the team could actually improve on their 69-7 record from a year ago.  Most expect a slow start to 2018 as it usually takes the previous year's champion a tournament or two to get going, but by July this team should be dominating the league, if not before.

Players to Watch:  Slugger Ryan Harvey (763, 121 HR, 284 RBI) was the league's Offensive MVP a year ago and could have an even bigger year in 2018.  Pitcher Andy Purcell (782, 54 HR, 153 RBI) won the league MVP again in 2017 and at age 48 doesn't seem to be slowing down on either offense or defense although he is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.  Don Dedonatis III at shortstop had a healthy and good 2017 as he won the co-Defensive MVP and if he stays healthy again in 2018 should be a big part of the team's success.  Pearson and Jason Branch (749, 87 HR, 252 RBI) should challenge for the batting title.  Brandon Dillon (741, 87 HR, 230 RBI) and Harvey should compete for the home run title.  Middle infielder Luis Reyna (763, 58 HR, 197 RBI) is one of the league's best extra base hitters leading in doubles with 54 and was co-Defensive MVP in 2017.  Rounding out the team is the league's best center fielder Nic Santana (732, 38 HR, 117 RBI), the league's best 3rd baseman Cory Briggs (759, 72 HR, 243 RBI), and the 4th outfielder Lee Payne (722, 30 HR, 96 RBI).

 

Ryan Harvey and Kyle Pearson will collect more hardware in 2018

 


 

#2 Resmondo/RDD/H. Auto/All In/Sprizzi/Easton (FL-Major)


Brian Wegman
Steele Lewis
Buddy Wolf
Jeremy Yates
Neil Haglund
Bryson Baker
Brett Rettenmier
Kevin Bazat
Greg Connell
Bubba Mack
Travis Clark
Mike Umscheid
Brad Reckart

Manager: Brett Helmer
Coach: Pete Campbell
Coach: Tom Bradley
Coach: Steven Gentry
Stats: Saul Simpson
Travel/logistics: Shirl Webb

Sponsors:
Travis Resmondo
Scott Delorge
Bob Hortenbach
Tom Bradley
Mark Breault
Easton Sports

Tentative 2018 Tournament Schedule:
April USSSA Las Vegas Major
April USSSA HOF Dual Major
May USA Softball Corky's Minnesota Super
May USSSA Columbus, Indiana Major
June USSSA Chicago Major
June USSSA Seattle Dual Major
July USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic
July USSSA Cincinnati Major
August USSSA Columbus, OH Major
August Conference Championship
September USSSA Major World
September USA Softball Super National – Oklahoma City

Resmondo returns with Easton's Brett Helmer managing the team.  They made a couple of big offseason moves and picked up left handed power hitting outfielders Jeremy Yates (718, 96 HR, 233 RBI) and Neil Haglund (691, 78 HR, 181 RBI) from Thunder.  They grabbed Canadian sensation Steele Lewis (790, 59 HR, 146 RBI) to play center field.  And they grabbed middle infielder Brett Rettenmeier (656, 41 HR, 115 RBI) from Racks to help the defense up the middle.  They will most likely move Brian Wegman (753, 70 HR, 193 RBI) to infield and they lost their top hitter Kyle Pearson to their arch rivals Smash It Sports, Scott Kirby retired after going into the USSSA Hall of Fame last fall, and they let backup pitcher Dan Sanchez go.

Outlook:  Defense was the problem in 2017 as Resmondo failed to win a single tournament that had other Major teams in it.  They did not beat Smash It Sports consistently and their lack of defense seemed to bring down what should have been a dominating offensive team.  For 2018 it looks like it could be more of the same as they replaced their entire outfield but did so more with players more known for their offense, although Yates is just a few years removed from a Conference Defensive MVP.  This team may struggle to beat Smash It Sports who does seem to have their number…

Players to Watch:  Yates and Haglund must replace Pearson's stadium power numbers which they can do.  Steele Lewis has a motor that will never quit in center field, but he was injured 3 separate times while playing for Vivid and OA Apparel a year ago, so a healthy Lewis will be a key component to any Resmondo success.  Losing their backup pitcher Sanchez puts utility man Brad Reckart (686, 30 HR, 86 RBI) in the backup pitching role.  He is underrated there but will be a question mark for the team.  The consistent Bryson Baker (781, 91 HR, 229 RBI), Brian Wegman, Greg Connell (741, 88 HR, 221 RBI), Travis Clark (735, 76 HR, 224 RBI), and Bubba Mack (717, 58 HR, 168 RBI) are all a year older but more than capable of putting up the offense needed.  And Mike Umschied (687, 69 HR, 200 RBI) and gold glover Kevin Bazat (655, 30 HR, 115 RBI)  will need to anchor the defense on the left side with newcomer Rettenmeier up the middle.  Buddy Wolf (738, 76 HR, 202 RBI) rounds out the roster in more of a 4th outfielder role but with anticipated injuries he should get a lot of at bats.  And Scott Kirby who had announced his retirement, does appear on the roster so he may make an appearance.

 

Neil Haglund and Jeremy Yates join Resmondo 

 


 

#3 Dan Smith/Menosse/Steven Smith (CA-Major)

Davis Bilardello
Dale Brungardt
Argen Dodds
Ben Dunn
Erik Kanaby
Steven Lloyd
Mike Nino
Lee Powers
Jordan Spaulding
Ryan Stovall
Andrew Collins
LC Watson
Steve Whaley

General Manager and Assistant Coach Pat Dalsanders
Head Coach: Steven Smith
Stats and Assistant Coach Hector Pagan

Sponsors:
Dan Smith
Eddie Menosse
Steven Smith
Easton Sports
Uniforms and Apparel by ShirtsandLogos.com

2018 USSSA Schedule:
April  6-8  Las Vegas, NV
April 13-15 Houston, TX
April 19-22 Hall of Fame Dual Viera, FL
May    4-6  Chattanooga, TN
May   18-20 Euless, TX
June   1-3  Carol Stream, IL
June  21-24 Kent Dual Kent, WA
June 29-July 1 Dudley Brooklyn Center, MN (TENTATIVE)
July  13-15 Smoky Maryville, TN
July  20-22 Cincinnati, OH
August 3-5  Columbus, OH
August 31-Sept 2 USSSA Conference Viera, FL
September 19-22 USSSA Major World Series Viera, FL

Dan Smith returns with his son Steven managing to the Conference with a revamped Major team.  Gone are almost all of the players from the Combat Major teams of years past, and Dan Smith went out and signed a plethora of the top 'AA' and younger Major level players.  The outfield should be LF Jordan Spaulding (Racks)(721, 47 HR, 134 RBI), CF Ben Dunn (Nightmare)(738, 75 HR, 173 RBI), and RF Davis Bilardello (Newbreed)(696, 68 HR, 183 RBI) or Andrew Collins (SIS)(753, 95 HR, 251 RBI).  The infield should be 3B Dale Brungardt (Newbreed)(737, 64 HR, 187 RBI), SS Ryan Stovall (Thunder)(706, 50 HR, 118 RBI), MI Steve Whaley (Newbreed)(692, 58 HR, 188 RBI), 2B Steven Lloyd who returns(768, 55 HR, 167 RBI), and 1B Lee Powers (Newbreed)(740, 61 HR, 175 RBI).  Doing the catching is Argen Dodds (Racks)(735, 85 HR, 224 RBI) and pitching will be veteran L.C. Watson (692, 43 HR, 122 RBI) and conference rookie Mike Nino.  They also have left handed bat Erik Kanaby (697, 46 HR, 144 RBI) who can play 1st base, 2nd base, and right field.

Outlook:  This may be the most entertaining team in softball to watch if the chemistry of all of these players mesh together.  The problem will be expectations.  This team is similar to the Newbreed team from 2017 and that team did not meet the expectations that were set too high and the team fell apart.  The goal of this team in the first half of the season should be to make it to Sunday and beat the 'AA' teams.  As the season progresses then they need to take the next step which is to beat Resmondo and Smash It Sports at least a couple of times each before the post season.

Players to Watch:  The defense should be sound, but their lack of stadium power could come into question.  The player to watch is 2nd baseman Steven Lloyd who is the best athlete in the game and Andrew Collins who was the Major World Series MVP last year and came on strong with the bat and the glove.  Both run the bases very well.  As happened last year at the Major with an injury to LC Watson, the backup Mike Nino will have to come through.  Another player to watch is center fielder Ben Dunn as 138 of his 199 hits a year ago were for extra bases!  We may see some of the infielders move around as well as Whaley has played some great shortstop the past year.

 

2017 Conference Rookie of the Year Jordan Spaulding and center fielder Ben Dunn rack up the extra base hits

 


 

#4 Racks/Worth Astros/Miken/Sonny's/Klutch/Troupe (IN-AA)

 

ROSTER as of 2/18/2018
OF Dan Kirkwood
OF Cory Newman
OF Sid Stephany
3B/IF/OF Steve Edwards
SS/IF Ricardo Lizcano
IF/OF Troy Krider
IF Brian Faria
IF/OF Lex Rameriz
1B/C Mike Brambilla
P Bill Pinkham
C/EH Chad Mullins
C/EH/OF Jon Nelson
P/3B/1B Rob Roop
OF/Utility Brian Farrar
P/OF Brandon Patzig
F/Utility Sammy Christensen
Utility John DeJarnette (Sponsor)

General Managers/Sponsors: Herb Price & Sonny Pilcher (primary sponsor)
Field Manager: Sonny Yamcharern
Equipment Worth/Miken: Jason Kendrick
Sponsor/Coaches: James Troupe & Kenny Lowell
Uniform Sponsor: KLUTCH (Brandon Patzig)
Admin/Nutrition: Jerry "Snake" Scudder
Sponsor Good Wood: John DeJarnette

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE:
April 6-8           Sin City Major          Las Vegas, NV
April 19-22       HOF Dual                 Viera FL
May 4-6            Choo Choo Major     Chattanooga, TN
May 11-13        Hoosier Classic        Columbus, IN
June 1-3           Windy City Major      Carol Stream, IL
June 15-17       Circle City Major      Indianapolis, IN
June 29-July 1  Dudley Classic         Brooklyn Center, MN
July 13-15        Smoky Mt Classic     Maryville, TN
July  20-22       Cincy Major             Cincinnati, OH
August 3-5       BATS Major             Columbus, OH
Aug 31-Sept 2  Conference Finals   Viera, FL
Sept 15-16       AA World Series      Viera, FL
Sept 19-22       Major World Series  Viera, FL

One of the most impactful changes of the offseason was the merger between the 2017 first year Major team Racks and the #1 seeded 'AA' team Worth/Astros where Racks sponsor Sonny Pilcher and Astros sponsor Herb Price combined a roster that is still allowed to compete in 'AA', at least here at the beginning of the season.  Sonny brings center fielder Dan Kirkwood (709, 25 HR, 84 RBI), former outfielder Cory Newman (641, 23 HR, 99 RBI), his middle infielder Brian Faria (714, 41 HR, 124 RBI), utility man Lex Ramirez (671, 27 HR, 90 RBI), and big Jon Nelson.  And Herb brings to the merger outfielder Sid Stephany (714, 42 HR, 142 RBI) who is recovering from shoulder surgery, infielders Ricardo Lizcano (643, 36 HR, 99 RBI), Troy Krider (639, 15 HR, 48 RBI), and Steve Edwards (764, 52 HR, 143 RBI), as well as slugger Chad Mullins (744, 63 HR, 191 RBI), pitcher Bill Pinkham (521, 27 HR, 96 RBI), and utility man Rob Roop (642, 37 HR, 101 RBI).  From outside of the merger they signed Mike Brambilla (812, 70 HR, 167 RBI) from Classic Glass who was 3rd in nation in the batting title race.

Outlook:  This team is the favorite to be the highest finishing 'AA' team in the points, but mergers don't always work so it will be interesting to find out if this one produces the necessary chemistry to send both sponsors to a USSSA 'AA' World title?

Players to Watch:  This is basically a perfect 'AA' team.  They have a warrior and defensive stopper on the mound in Bill Pinkham, the infield glove work of Lizcano, Krider, and Faria.  And they have the base hitting of Steve Edwards and Dan Kirkwood setting the table for power hitters Mullins and Brambilla.  They do have some guys recovering from offseason surgery and a few dealing with family health issues but this can be overcome with their great depth and experience.

 

Mike Brambilla and Bill Pinkham

 


 

#5 Precision/3rd Street/Bull Dawg


Matt Rear
Jeff Flood
Brett McCollum
Brad Tabler
David Kessler
Chad Durick
Dan Bean
Brad Lunda
Roger Drake
Jeff Keske
Travis Houseman
Jason Joseph
Jason Magnum
Alex Burkel
Rob Mahaffey
Kyle Kannenberg

Precision/Manager – William Wax
Manager – Todd Ankney
3rd Street Financial – Rob Mahaffey
Bull Dawg Trucking – Donald Munford

2018 Tentative Schedule:
GSL Moneyball
Space City
HOF Dual
Chattanooga???
Columbus, IN
Windy City
Indy
Dudley???
Smoky
Cincy
Columbus
Conf Champ
USSSA AA
USSSA Major World Series

Bill Wax, his manager Todd Ankney, and his Precision team have made the USSSA 'AA' World finals 4 years in a row, winning it in 2016.  The team made some offseason tweaks like adding middle infielder Jeff Flood (703, 40 HR, 123 RBI) from Newbreed, infielder Chad Durick (696, 57 HR, 153 RBI) returns from a year with Dan Smith, outfielder Brad Lunda (770, 67 HR, 158 RBI) from OA Apparel has joined the team, and backup pitcher Roger Drake from Headlines and slugger Jason Magnum round out the changes.  Returning is the core of the team 3B Rear (697, 43 HR, 107 RBI), 1B McCollum (741, 61 HR, 141 RBI), C Tabler (744, 47 HR, 132 RBI), OF Kessler (688, 34 HR, 84 RBI), MI Keske (704, 22 HR, 77 RBI), CF Houseman (683, 35 HR, 114 RBI), and pitcher Dan Bean (683, 22 HR, 77 RBI) that finished 2nd at 'AA' Worlds a year ago.

Outlook: The team should be right in the mix as the top 'AA' team in the nation.  Last summer they beat 3 Major teams and won 8 games in a row in one tournament at the Cincinnati Major.  2018 should be no different.  A fun well managed team that will push the Major teams each week.

Players to Watch:  Leadoff man Matt Rear at 3rd base is still returning to form after a leg injury in 2016.  Middle infielder Jeff Keske gets better every year with the glove and the bat.  And Travis Houseman in his 2nd year in center field should be an all Conference performer.

 

Chad Durick and the left side of the infield Rear, Kanneberg, and Keske

 


 

#6 Pure Sports/Monsta (SC-AA)

MI Heath Barnes
OF Filip Washington
OF Brad Carlsen
2B Chente Granados
1B Steven Lopez
IF Justin Mackey
P Ryan Mcclanahan
IF Zach Messer
P Justin Mucciarelli
Hunter Platten
Jerrad Messersmith
C Patrick Price
PH Devin Reilly
3B John Williams
OF Tyler Zwosta

Manager – Craig Shaw

2018 Tournament Schedule:
April USSSA Las Vegas Major
April USSSA Houston Major
April USSSA HOF Dual Major
April USSSA Charlotte Major
May USSSA Chattanooga Major
May USSSA Atlanta Major
June USSSA Chicago Major
June USSSA Maryland Major
June USSSA Dudley Major
July USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic
July USSSA Cincinnati Major
August USSSA Columbus, OH Major
August Conference Championship
September USSSA AA World
September USSSA Major World

Pure Sports headed by Craig Shaw moves up to the 'AA' division from 'A' with an almost entirely new roster.  They grabbed 2016 'AA' MVP pitcher Justin "Mooch" Mucciarelli and infielder Chente Granados (701, 32 HR, 119 RBI) from Newbreed.  They grabbed 3rd baseman John Williams (754, 72 HR, 181 RBI) from Dan Smith.  1st baseman Steven Lopez (676, 24 HR, 71 RBI) and utility man Ryan Mcclanahan from Racks.  And infielder Zach Messer (767, 46 HR, 105 RBI) from OA Apparel and the league's leading hitter Brad Carlsen (831, 54 HR, 143 RBI) from Bay Area Legends.  They complete the team with 'A' players Heath Barnes from Scene, and Justin Mackey, Patrick Price, and Tyler Zwosta who all return.  They also have Devin Reilly who rivals Brian Bohanon as one of the best pinch hitters in the game.  Just a few days ago they added Filip Washington to the outfield who was the 2nd leading hitter in the Conference a year ago.

Outlook:  The team seems to be light on power for the 'AA' division but heavy on defense and base hitting.  It should be interesting to see if pitching, defense, and base hits can win at that level. 

Players to Watch: Carlsen is the player to watch as he tries to hit .800 again.  Big John Williams and Steven Lopez with the bats are always entertaining to follow.  And Chente Granados with the glove is as good as it gets.  Adding Washington solidifies the lineup.

 

Johndre the Giant and Brad Carlsen

 


 

#7 TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken (NC-AA)


Tyler Marshburn
Orlando Castillo
Donnie Hammonds
Billy Fulk
Jason Martel
Jason Matusik
Faron Miller
AJ Montano
Kyle Pearson
Jeffery Renno
Curtis Stewart
Tyler Wilson
Brian Zirkle
Brian Titus – Player/ Head Coach
Dale Neve – Assistant Coach
Stephanie Burlew – Manager

Tim Franks – Sponsor – Tarheel Drilling and Blasting
JR Matusik – Sponsor – Florida Atlantic IronWorks
Brandon Patzig – Sponsor – Klutch
Jason Kendrick – Sponsor – Miken/Worth


2018 USSSA Conference Schedule
*April 6-8   8th Annual Louisville Slugger Sin City Classic – Las Vegas, NV
*April 19-22 USSSA Hall of Fame Classic – Dual Event – Viera, FL
*April 27-29 USSSA Louisville Slugger/Demarini Classic – Charlotte, NC
*May 4-6     4th Annual Choo Choo Classic – Chattanooga, TN
*May 18-20   18th Annual Texas Legends – Euless, TX
*June 1-3    Windy City Invitational – Carol Stream, IL
*June 21-24  Easton derby – Dual Event – Kent, WA
*July 13-15  50th Smokey Mountain Classic – Maryville, TN
*July 20-22  18th Cincinnati Men's Major – Cincinnati, OH
*August 3-5  6th Annual Columbus BATS Major – Columbus, OH
*Aug 31 – Sept 2 Conference Championship – Viera, FL
*Sept 15-16  AA Worlds – Viera, FL
*Sept 19-22  Major Worlds – Viera, FL

TDB and sponsor Tim Franks returns to the 'AA' division with a completely revamped roster.  He grabbed outfielder Jason Matusik (708, 70 HR, 166 RBI), CF Brian Zirkle (675, 22 HR, 97 RBI), Donnie Hammonds, and infielder Kyle Pearson (678, 57 HR, 154 RBI) from Dan Smith, pitcher Faron Miller from Headlines, shortstop AJ Montano from Classic Glass, and longtime Resmondo catcher BJ Fulk (672, 60 HR, 160 RBI).  Filling out the roster is professional hitter Curtis Stewart (725, 77 HR, 198 RBI) from OA Apparel, Bay Area Legends outfielder Jeffery Renno (707, 51 HR, 145 RBI), and returning players Orlando Castillo (675, 56 HR, 126 RBI), Tyler Wilson (757, 58 HR, 142 RBI) and Jason Martel (746, 62 HR, 154 RBI), as well as Bad Draw infielder Tyler Marshburn (717, 37 HR, 94 RBI).

Outlook:  How will the big name Major players (there are 5 of them) do as they come down to the 'AA' division is the big question that will need to be answered.  Also, which of the young 'AA' players will step up their game to match the Major players level?  This team is playing 15 tournaments including all of the big ones, can the chemistry be sustained through a long season?

Players to Watch:  Orlando Castillo is an underrated offensive player and needs to put up big numbers.  AJ Montano has one of the best gloves in the game in the middle infield.

 

Jason Matusik and BJ Fulk

 


 

#8 Xtreme/Miken/ASP/Athlon (MN-AA)


Danny Evans
Dirk Updike
Alex Bremer
Joe Skyles
Brandon Newman
Dylan Smith
Toby Letak
Shannon Smith
Cooper Vittitow
Matt McGowan
Colin Baartman
Pat Ellwanger
Cory Large
Seth Brown
Todd Newton

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

Mike & Vicki McGowan – Xtreme Cut & Design
Jason Kendrick – Miken Sports
Lyf Nimmo – ASP
Brandon Roberts – Athlon Athletics


2018 Schedule
Sin City Classic – Las Vegas
USSSA HOF Dual – Melbourne, FL
Choo Choo Classic – Chattanooga, TN
Texas Legends – Euless, TX
Sooner Invitational – Tulsa, OK
Dudley – Brooklyn Center, MN
Smoky Mountain Classic – Maryville, TN
Cincinnati Major – Cincinnati, OH
Columbus BATS Major – Columbus, OH
Conference Championship
AA World Series
Major World Series

Xtreme had a story book season in 2017 as they struggled and never did make it to Sunday of any of the regular season events although they came so close to upsetting the Major teams time and again.  But at the USSSA 'AA' Worlds they put it all together running the table through the loser's bracket and double dipping heavy favorite Precision for the World title!  Xtreme returns most all of the core players from that team except for Dustin Palm who retired and Lyf Nimmo who went back to play ball with his Texas friends.  They added Dylan Smith from Bad Draw, outfielder Cory Large from Headlines, and were able to keep pitcher Danny Evans who was instrumental in their championship run.

Outlook:  The chemistry between the Minnesota area players and their core of Texas players is Xtreme's secret weapon and their bond of winning that 'AA' title against all odds.  Can they repeat against an even deeper 'AA' division?  It is unlikely…but look for this team to pull some big upsets during the season and try to play spoiler at 'AA' and Major Worlds.

Players to Watch:  Pat Ellwanger (736, 60 HR, 144 RBI) and Colin Baartman (731, 45 HR, 109 RBI) continue to improve with the bats.  Big Shannon Smith (745, 52 HR, 134 RBI) has worked hard to become one of the best hitters in the game.  And shortstop Toby Letak and middle infielder Cory Newman have learned to make game winning plays.

 

Smith, Letak, and Newman return to the 'AA' World Champs in 2018!

 


 

#9 Nightmare/Miken/Heroes Mission (MO-AA)


Nolan Fogle 2nd
Wes Newell P
Billy Maggard C/P/EH
Charlie Hinojosa 3rd
Tommy Melton SS
Mike Brown 1st/P/EH
Jason Williams MI
Colby Hughes OF
Brian Logan OF
Bryan Daniel OF
Evan Gallmeier OF/Util
Josh Collins Util
Jake Mays Util

Manager TBD
Coach Bengie Ramos
Coach Brian "Biscuit " Mclain

Sponsors
Nolan Fogle Fogle Enterprises Inc.
Jason Kendrick Miken Sports

Schedule
April 6-8 Vegas
April 13-15 Houston
April 19-22 Dual
May 4-6 Chattanooga
May 18-20 Euless
May 25-27 Atlanta
June 1-3 Chicago (TBD)
June 8-10 Tulsa
June 29-July 1 Dudley
July 13-15 Smokey
July 20-22 Cincinnati
Aug 3-5 Columbus
Aug 31-Sep 2 Conference Championship
Sept 15-16 AA Worlds
Sept 19-22 Major World Series

Nightmare returns to the Conference after a break out season in 2018 where they finished 8th in the country in the points standings.  Player/Sponsor Nolan Fogle who considers his slow pitch team his "Ferrari" has added former Thunder center fielder Brian Logan, former Buzini middle man Jason Williams, former BHR standout Mike Brown, and outfielders Colby Hughes (698, 60 HR, 154 RBI) from Dan Smith, and Evan Gallmeier (728, 29 HR, 92 RBI) from Precision.  He returns quite a core of players including Billy Maggard (766, 96 HR, 223 RBI) who was 2nd in home runs in the league a year ago, California 3rd baseman Charlie Hinojosa (735, 80 HR, 204 RBI) who was 11th in homer's, and outfielder Brian Daniel (.696, 50 HR, 133 RBI).

Outlook:  Nightmare shocked the softball world in 2017 with their 8th place finish in points and their 4th place finish at the Smoky Mountain Classic.  They will be disappointed with anything less this year, but the 'AA' division is stacked and it could be a struggle for them to make the top 10 even though they appear to have an even better team.

Players to Watch:  Wes Newell (707, 49 HR, 128 RBI) is an underrated at pitcher.  Watch to see if the young Charlie Hinojosa can continue to improve.  And let's see what impact Logan and Hughes can have on this team after they spent some time playing at the Major level.  

 

Nightmare hopes a full year of Tom Melton and Brian Logan will lead to an even better season than 2017,

when they finished 2nd in 'AA' points!

 


 

#10 Riot Sports/Broughton/Beckham Bros/Thunder/Worth


Dan Sanchez P
Patrick Donahue IF
Keith Laski IF/OF
Scotty Langford IF
Jeff Roxby IF
Dal Beggs IF
Keith Martin C/IF
Joe Joe Bennett OF/IF
Eddie Bolden OF
Kyle Olsen OF
Zane Trammell
Craig Rodriguez P/IF/C
John Dutch

Head Coach: Dal Beggs
Coach/Stats: Billy Register

Sponsors:
Riot Sports: Jason Annino/ Alex Sherwood
Broughton Pharma: John Dutch
Beckham Brothers Construction: Todd Beckham
Thunder Nation: Seth Green
Worth Sports: Jason Kendrick

2018 Schedule:
Houston
HOF Dual
Chattanooga
Atlanta
Smoky
Cincinnati
Columbus
Conference Championship
AA World
Major World Series

Riot Sports is a brand new 'AA' team put together by Keith Martin and Dal Beggs.  The team has a nice mix of veteran Conference hitters like Dale Beggs who will also be manager and Keith Martin, as well as long time Precision and Racks infielder Keith Laski, and former Resmondo backup pitcher Dan Sanchez.  They also have some of the better players from last year's TM Sports team with leadoff man Scotty Langford, shortstop Jeff Roxby, and outfielders Jo Jo Bennett and Eddie Bolden.  Late in the offseason they added Nightmare's Zane Trammell as well.

Outlook:  This new team helps bolster the 'AA' division and could be a year away from competing for a 'AA' World title, but they should make the Major easily and upset their share of higher level and in class teams.

Players to Watch: Jo Jo Bennett who started 2017 with Backman at the Major level is a talent to watch.  Can Zane Trammell recover from a broken arm?  Can manager Dal Beggs piece the chemistry together needed to compete at the top of the division in a short time?

 

Keith Martin and Dal Beggs built a brand new 'AA' team in the offseason. 

Thank you for the hard work putting this together!

 


 

#11 Newbreed/Steel Sports/Demarini (WA-AA)

Newbreed returns to the Conference with a team that will start the season 'AA' after 2017 where they played Major.  The roster changes are extensive as they lost most of their Major list players and picked up 4 of the key players that won USSSA 'A' Worlds with Steel – shortstop Steven Malay (639, 24 HR, 70 RBI), catcher Dustin Roberts (780, 39 HR, 84 RBI), 3rd baseman Matt Vasquez (725, 44 HR, 102 RBI) who was MVP, and outfielder Everett Williams (773, 28 HR, 82 RBI).  They also grabbed former Classic Glass center fielder Donald Hollingsworth (675, 22 HR, 61 RBI), L&S Glass pitcher Cole Patterson, and Bay Area Legends outfielder Rick Cornu (638, 52 HR, 134 RBI).  They return infielders Nick Utley, their on-field leader Victor Cordova, and left handed hitter Rolando Rodriguez.

Outlook:  Newbreed has a lot of young and hungry players, a veteran leader in Cordova, and a hardnosed pitcher in Patterson but it may be a rebuilding year for them in a top heavy 'AA' division.

Players to Watch:  Cornu and all of the Steel players that are moving from 'A' to 'AA' must continue to get better.  Malay is a true talent in the infield and Dustin Roberts offense continues to age like a fine wine.

 

Dustin Roberts and Matt Vasquez are among 4 of the Steel players that won 'A' Worlds and joined Newbreed

 


 

#12 Bay Area Legends/Miken/Worth (CA-TBD)

C Joel Gonzalez
P Gary Perez
SS Carlos Vasquez
C Chris Larsen
MI Dameon Smith
IF Dave Johnson
OF Eliseo Aguilar
P John Brown
3B Matt Fox
OF Mike Williams
IF Pilar Amaya
1B Trenzie Campbell
UT Tristan Metcalf
UT Wes Taylor
OF Mario Granados

Manager – Charles Dyson
Sponsor – Joel Gonzalez
Stats – Gary Perez

2018 Tournament Schedule:
April USSSA Las Vegas Major
April USSSA HOF Dual Major
May USSSA Columbus, Indiana Major
May USSSA Dallas Major
June USSSA Chicago Major
June USSSA Seattle Dual Major
July USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic
July USSSA Cincinnati Major
August USSSA Columbus, OH Major
August Conference Championship
August USSSA A World
September USSSA AA World
September USSSA Major World

Bay Area Legends player/sponsor Joel Gonzalez returns for his 3rd year in the Conference.  Each year has been successful as they moved from the 'C' division all the way up to 'A' last year and now TBD (to be determined) to begin 2018 since they qualified for the USSSA Major World Series.  Bay Area was devastated by the loss of their entire outfield which was also the heart of their offense.  They lost left fielder Brad Carlsen who won the Conference batting title, center fielder Jeff Renno who went to TDB, and right fielder Rick Cornu who went to Newbreed.  They brought in longtime Primetime outfielder Mike Williams who made all of those incredible catches at the Major World Series last year as a pickup with Nightmare, longtime OC Swats outfielder Eliseo Aguilar who has become a professional hitter, and they will give a shot to a couple of new players like Tristan Metcalf and Wes Taylor.  They also picked up Long Haul Bombers slugger Chris Larsen, former Classic Glass 3rd baseman Matt Fox, and former Racks utility man Dave Johnson.  They return the middle of their infield with shortstop Carlos Vasquez and middle infielder Dameon Smith, as well as veteran pitcher John Brown.

Outlook: The team should be a lock to make the Major World Series but are yet another team that is supposed to play 'AA' that want to play down in the 'A' division.  We will see how that plays out as the season progresses.

Players to Watch: 1st baseman Trenzie Campbell and outfielder Mike Williams have been in the Conference for a while now and are due for breakout seasons.  Fox and Larsen should provide a lot of power, and infielder Pilar Amaya who played with Classic Glass last year has improved in every one of his years in the Conference.  They also made a late addition to the roster in outfielder Mario Granados who has played with OC Swats and Monsta Athletics.

 

Outfielder Mike Williams and slugger Chris Larsen

 


 

#13 TG Brand (MI-A)

Justin Green
Adam Kaminski
Austin Pichiotino
Brady Hightchew
James Sparrow
Jesse Solomon
John Franklin
Jonathon Golich
Josh Kirsten
Josh Onstott
Justin Evans
Justin Geiner
Nathan King
Ryan Morrow
Todd Fairbanks
Tony Payne
Tyler Kincaid

2018 Tentative Schedule:
– GSL MoJo MoneyBall: March 24/25
– Conference Dual: April 19-22
– Conference Chattanooga: May 4-6
– Conference Columbus, IN: May 11-13
-Conference Chicago: June 1-3
– GSL King of The Hill: June 22/23
– Conference Smokey: July 13-15
– Conference Cincinnati: July 20-22
– Conference Columbus, OH: August 3-5
– GSL A Worlds: August 18/19
– USSSA A Worlds: August 31- Sept. 2nd
– USSSA Major World Series: Sept. 19-22

TG Brand and manager Jonathon Golich is back with the majority of his 2017 USSSA 'B' team that shocked softball with their run to a 2nd place finish at the 'A' Worlds a year ago.  They added former Headlines infielder Adam Kaminski (.703, 52 HR, 120 RBI) who came up with TG Brand a few years ago, Astros center fielder Josh Kirsten, and former 3rd Street shortstop Jesse Sollomon.  They also added former P&P 333 players Josh Onstott and pitcher Todd Fairbanks.  The team returns 'A' All World performers pitcher Tyler Kincaid (.639), outfielder Ryan Morrow (.756), infielder John Franklin (.623 , 27 HR), 3rd baseman Justin Geiner (.717), and catcher Nathan King (.664).  Kincaid also won the 'A' World Offensive MVP.  

Outlook:  TG Brand should hit the ground running at or near the top of the 'A' division.  The team is young, athletic, and gained valuable experience last year playing the best.

Players to Watch:  Tony Payne is an underrated shortstop who plays both sides well.  DJ Hughes is a big bat to watch out for that didn't play 'A' Worlds last year.  And Justin Evans who came up with Cooper a few years ago is a gamer who comes up with the clutch hits.  This team has learned out to win and play through the long games against the 'A' and 'AA' division.

 

Tony Payne and Justin Evans

 


 

#14 All Out/Steel Sports/ASP/Miken (TX-TBD)

2018 Tournament Schedule:
April USSSA Houston Major
April USSSA HOF Dual Major
May USSSA Dallas Major
May USSSA Atlanta Major
June USSSA Tulsa Major
July USSSA Arkansas Major
July USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic
July USSSA Louisiana Major
August USSSA A World
September USSSA AA World
September USSSA Major World

Tim Barnes who managed BHR to the 2016 USSSA 'A' World Championship and ASP to multiple USA Softball 'A' titles returns with another Texas based Conference team.  He has catcher/pitcher Lyf Nimmo who won 'AA' Worlds with Xtreme a year ago.  Pitcher Tyler Green, power hitter Kyndrich Doggett, and infielder Jonathan Lenz who all played with AllOut the past couple of years.  And he added Texas ring winning legends Chris Potts and shortstop Marcus Thornton.  To round out the team he grabbed Cole Campbell from Xtreme and Shannan Green from Rebel Sports.  To do the pitching he signed Jeff Graus who won the Major with SmashItSports/Albicocco last year and was the MVP of the Seattle Major dual #2 in June when Andy Purcell injured his back.

Outlook:  The team starts the year TBD (To be determined) as their classification even though they are loaded with 'AA' experience.  They should have good success and make the top 16 fairly easily.  They are playing a regional schedule and should compete for tournament wins in Houston, Atlanta, Tulsa, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

Players to Watch:  Graus is back to pitching full time.  The team has championship experience at the 'A' and 'AA' levels.  Cole Campbell, Doggett, and Potts are all coming off of injuries in 2017 and looking forward to good seasons.

 

Jeff Graus and Chris Potts

 


 

#15 Baugh Ford/Pure Sports/Kincaid Sports (AL-TBD)

P – Tommie Baugh
C/EH – Jason Gilifan
EH/C – Allen Ponder
1st – Ryan McCroy
2nd – Ricky Smith
5man – Ian Sidebottom
3rd – Chad Folsom
Outfield – John Zorich
Outifeld – Brian Mays
Outfield – Brandon Hooks
Utility – Adam Suhowolak
Utility – Corey Rickets
Coach – Dean Stevens


Tentative 2018 Schedule:
April 13-15 Houston, TX
April 19-22 Viera, FL
May 4-6 Chattanooga, TN
May 25-27 Atlanta, GA
July 13-15 Maryville, TN
July 27-29 Carencro, LA
Aug 31- Sept 2 A World
*Sept 15-16 AA World*
*Sept 19-22 Major*

Baugh Ford who was the #1 ranked 'A' team in the country in 2017 returns to the Conference.  They picked up Brian Mays from JBL and free agents Brandon Hooks and Ricky Smith.  They return most of their other starters led by player/sponsor/pitcher Tommie Baugh, big Allen Ponder (.690), outfielder Jason Gilfillan (.665, 31 HR), 3rd baseman Chad Folsom (.721, 60 HR), middle infielder Ian Sidebottom, and center fielder John Zorich (.688, 32 HR).  They did lose their shortstop Johnathan Rasberry and veteran hitter Brad Blankenship.

Outlook:  The team will start the season TBD and attempt to play again in the 'A' division.  Last year they won a couple of the smaller Conference events and will try to repeat that success in 2018 but hope to have a stronger post season.

Players to Watch: Baugh is underrated at pitcher.  Chad Folsom is coming off a huge year.  Brian Mays and Allen Ponder look for big seasons offensively.

 


 

#16 Pauer Sports/JBL/Tailgaters/B&E/Worth (OH-A)

 
Tim Sheeler
Bill Lewis
John Radich
Tim Bowser
Mike Mallory
Chris Miller
Jon Dombrowski
Ryan Roppel
Mike Fiorilli
Mike Dzanaj
Frankie Andriola
Phil Matte
Anthony Dominic
Doug Ruble
Mark Schaeffer
Ryan Fant
Aaron Sandoval

Manager: Bill Lewis
Coach: Tim Sheeler

Sponsors: John Radich- Pauer Sports
Bill Lewis- JBL
Mike Paterak- Tailgaters
Jay Elkin- B&E
Jason Kendrick – Worth

2018 Tentative Schedule:
March 23 GSL Moneyball Columbus, OH
April 19-22 Conference Dual Viera, FL
May 4-6 Conference Chattanooga, TN
June 8-10 Conference Glen Burnie, MD
June 23-24 GSL KOH Cincinnati, OH
July 13-15 Conference Smokies Maryville, TN
July 20-22 Conference Cincinnati, OH
August 3-5 Conference Columbus, OH
August 17-19 GSL A World Cincinnati, OH
August 31-2 USSSA A World Viera, FL
September 19-22 USSSA Major Viera, FL

 

Pauer Sports is the JBL/Tailgaters team from years past.  The team is made up of Ohio veterans like Tim Sheeler and Bill Lewis with their longtime pitcher Jon Dombrowski, 3rd baseman Ryan Roppel, and outfielder/leadoff man Chris Miller.  This year they added Pauer sponsor John Radich who last played with TG Brand in 2015, and slick fielding middle infielders Doug Ruble and Ryan Fant.  They also added some pop to the lineup with long time FBI standout Tim Bowser and big Mike Mallory from Semper.  They did lose 4 of their top hitters in Brian Mays, Chris Hoffer, Jamie Simpson, and Charles Cunningham.

Outlook: With hopeful upgrades on both sides of the ball Pauer tries to return to the top 16 and make a push for an 'A' World title where they have had an early exit the past two years.

Players to Watch: Ruble makes some great plays in the infield.  Aaron Sandoval continues to improve.  The big guys Tim "bye bye" Bowser (714, 63 HR, 153 RBI) and Mike Mallory should be able to do plenty of free swinging!

 

Bowser and Mallory

 


 

#17 Premier/Easton/Headlines (OH-A)

Premier/Easton/Headlines (OH-A)
Chuck Lack
Corey Boothe
Pat Foster
Joe Horsley
Rocky Staton
Brock Morrison
Brad Bruns
Ryan Disbennet
Ryan Uckotter
Clay Norton
Josh Ashcraft
Brian Lakes
Kyle Centers
Dan Feichtner

Premier Sponsor-Kevin Forwith
Easton Sponsor- Brett Helmer
Headlines Sponsor- Ben Cosgrove

2018 Schedule:
USSSA HOF Dual Melbourne, Florida
Hoosier Classic Columbus, Indiana
Peach State Atlanta, GA
Seattle Dual Kent, WA
Smoky Mountain Classic Maryville, TN
Cincy Major Cincinnati, OH
Columbus Bats Columbus, Ohio
GSL A World Cincinnati, OH
USSSA A World Melbourne, Florida
USSSA AA World Melbourne, Florida
USSSA MWS Melbourne, Florida

 

Premier based out of Ohio and put together by sponsor/Manager Kevin Forwith has made a slow and steady climb from the 'C' ranks to the 'A' ranks.  This year they bring back most of their 2017 Conference team and add three players from Headlines – power hitter Cory Boothe (.721, 60 HR, 130 RBI), outfielder Ryan Disbennett (.648, 29 HR, 97 RBI), and the hardnosed middle infielder Rocky Staton.  They also brought back left-handed pitcher Brian Lakes, and power hitting infielder Brock Morrison.  I believe Ryan Noe is a late scratch from the roster and the defense will be anchored by middle infielder Rocky Staton.  Lack, Uckotter, Bruns, Ashcraft, and Norton among others are poised to take their game to the next level.

Outlook:  The team should be on the edge of making the Major World Series and also should push for a Sunday finish at the USSSA 'A' Worlds.  An aggressive schedule with just enough local smaller tournaments should make the team more competitive.  

Players to Watch:  Morrison (.663, 31 HR, 80 RBI) is due for a breakout offensive season.  Ryan Uckotter (.705), Patrick Foster (.703), and Chuck Lack (.695) all had rookie seasons with an on base percentage at or near 700.  Cory Boothe will be free swinging and should have a big year.  Boothe who once ran center field for Taylormade now has over 400 career Conference home runs and over 1,000 RBI.

 

Boothe, Kevin Forwith and Premier return to Conference

 


 

#18 Seminoles/TPS/NACSF.Inc/Easton (OK-A)

MATT COCHRAN
OLIVER ODLE
DANNY LOPEZ
TREY GOTHARD
JOSH MOORE
CHRIS HANSEN
BRANDON RAINES
JEREMY GUESS
COREY TAPP
DERRICK ROLAND
JUSTIN BEAL
JARED KENNEMER
JON HARRIS
CONNER MURRAY
MARK COCHRAN
CODY MCCARTER
DUSTY BROWN
MICHAEL BOONE

SPONSOR- TONY & PAULA SANCHEZ (TPS / NACSF.INC)
SPONSOR- BRETT HELMER (EASTON SPORTS)

2018 Schedule:
April 13-15   Houston, TX
April 19-22   Viera, FL
May 4-6        Chattanooga, TN
May 18-20    Euless, TX
June 8-10     Tulsa, OK
July 6-8        Little Rock, AR
July 13-15    Maryville, TN
August 3-5   Columbus, OH
August 31- September 2 USSSA A world
September 19-22 USSSA Major World Series

Seminoles return with their 'A' team for the second year in a row in Conference after playing USA Softball for many years at the upper level.  Seminoles is put together and led offensively by Matt Cochran (768, 45 HR, 127 RBI), tall pitcher Trey Gothard, and veteran Derrick Roland (715, 32 HR, 90 RBI).  They have added infielder Chris Hansen (672, 21 HR, 80 RBI)  from Resmondo, shortstop Josh Moore from MyAutoJack.com, and pitcher Danny Lopez who has pitched most recently for Monsta and Bad Draw.

Outlook: The 3 free agent pickups of Lopez, Hansen, and Moore allow Seminoles to take the next step up in the 'A' division and make them a true challenger for one of those last spots in the Major World Series.

Players to Watch:  Lopez who pitched great at the War by the Shore can be a difference maker on the hill.  Hansen can put up big numbers when free swinging.  Josh Moore picks it in the infield as good as anyone and Cochran, Odle, Tapp, and Gothard all posted 700+ onbase percentages a year ago.
 

 


 

#19 Chanticlear/J&H/P5/JEC/Miken/Worth (MN-A)


Craig Arndt
Travis Auld
Justin Barber
Chris Bauer
Shawn Casey
Kyle Charboneau
Kyle Decker
Jake Gallery
Nate Gessell
Cory Hines
Jordan Nuss
Ryan O’Connell
Eric O’Connell
Ben Smith
John Stibal
Michael Thorbrogger

Manager – Pat O’Connell
Coach – Jerry Tollefeson
Coach – Marvin Johnson
Sponsor – Dale Heille – Chanticlear Pizza
Sponsor – Joe Fitzer – JEC
Sponsor – Jack "Bubba" O'Conner – J&H Wall
Sponsor – Scott Brown – P5
Sponsor – Jason Kendrick – Miken/Worth


2018 Schedule:
Sin City Classic – Las Vegas, NV
Hall of Fame – Viera, FL\
Hoosier Classic – Columbus, IN ????
Texas Legends – Euless, TX
Windy City – Carol Stream, IL
Easton Derby – Kent, WA ????
Dudley – Brooklyn Center, MN
Smoky Mountain Classic – Maryville, TN
Columbus Last Chance – Columbus, OH

Chanticlear joins the Conference in 2018 after 2 years of playing non-conference regional events and 'A' Worlds.  They bring back most of their 2017 'A' team that finished 4th at worlds and add two big bats to the lineup in former Eurotech mashers Justin Barber and Cory Hines.

Outlook: Chanticlear is an old school type team whose players all come from the softball rich area around Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This is a team where there is built in chemistry and everyone knows and executes their roles.

Players to Watch: Chris Bauer in the middle of the infield is fun to watch.  The O'Connell brothers have always been a spark plug for this team.  And the catcher Kyle Decker is a veteran hitter who once won back to back USSSA 'B' Worlds with Marnell in the early 2000's.

 


 

#20 Vivid / Killbombers / OA / Easton (TX-TBD)


P/SS – Kenny Turlington
P – Stephen Cooper
1st – Tom Crump
2nd – Chris Vasquez
Middle – Josh Brown
SS/Utility – Brookes Howard
3rd – Logan Armstrong
OF – Nick Santos
CF – Seth Schwindenhammer
OF – Trey Gilliland
OF – Barry Fentiman
C/EH – Nick Shay
UT – Nick Mitschke
P Ryan Dacko
Matt Vern
C/EH – Jon Kilburn
Utility – Brian Bohannon
Coach – Dan O'Brian

Schedule:
April 13-15 – Space City Classic (Houston)
April 19-22 – HOF Dual (Kissimmee)
May 18-20 – Texas Legends (Euless)
May 25-27 – Peach State (Atlanta)
June 8-10 – Sooner Invitational (Tulsa)
July 6-8 – Bush Pepsi (Little Rock)
July 13-15 – Smokey Mountain Classic (Maryville)
July 20-22 – Cincinnati Major (Cincinnati)
July 27-29 –  Cajun Classic (Carencro)
Aug 3-5 – BATS Major (Columbus)

Jon Kilburn's Vivid team has players from all over the country but still maintains a core of players from Texas.  And many of the players have multiple years of Conference experience.  Pitchers Stephen Cooper and Kenny Turlington as well as middle infielder Josh Brown, and hitter Tom Crump have all played with Vivid in the past.  Infielder Logan Armstrong comes over from Insidious, outfielder Trey Gilliland from Classic Glass, outfielder Seth Schwindenhammer from OA Apparel, Ryan Dacko from USA Softball's Monsta Athletics team, and power hitter Nick Shay comes over from Steel but sat out the last half season in 2017 with an injury.

Outlook:  A healthy Shay should add some offensive punch to the new look Vivid team.  Kilburn is giving some young nationally unknown players a shot here as well.  And the team will start the season TBD and wants to play in the 'A' division.

Players to Watch:  Outfielder Seth Schwindenhammer is an interesting talent.  He is a big guy who ran center field for OA Apparel a year ago and has raw offensive ability.  Also, they have Brian Bohanon who is a pinch hit home run hitter and is as clutch as they come.

 

Outfielder Seth Schwindenhammer and a late addition to the roster Nick Mitschke

 


 

#21 Primetime Easton/Evolution (GA-A)


Roderick Armour
Judson Austin
LaMarquis Blake
Ira  Brown
Earl Bryant
Chivas Clark
Lee Daniels
Dennis  Davison
Donta  Frazier
Ronald  Grace
Kenneth Hare
Aaron  Jackson
Cedric Johnson
Anthony Mastrogiovanni
Jedon Matthews
Detorren  Means
David  Morrow
Bobby Pratt
Jarvis  Riggins
Alzavian Rush
Joseph Casados
Nekeyma  Wright

Coaches:
Tony Goodson Manager
Everette Daniels
Randy Whitfield Coach/Statistician

Sponsors:
Easton Sports – Brett Helmer
Tony Goodson
Evolution Construction
Dynasty and Klutch did the uniforms

Tournament Location Dates:
12th Annual Space City Classic Houston, TX April 13-15
USSSA Hall of Fame Classic (Dual) Viera, FL April 19-22
Choo Choo Classic Chattanooga, TN May 4-6
Pure Sports/Peach State Shootout Atlanta, GA May 25-27
Easton Derby (Dual) Kent, WA June 21-24
Smoky Mountain Classic Maryville, TN July 13-15
Rocky Mountain Shootout Aurora, CO July 27-29
6th Annual Columbus BATS Major Columbus, OH August 3-5

World Tournaments:
2018 Men’s A USSSA World Series Viera, FL August 31 – September 2
2018 Men’s AA USSSA World Series Viera, FL September 15-16
2018 Men’s Major World Series Viera, FL September 19-22

 

Tony Goodson and his Primetime Easton/Evolution team return to the Conference with a few big pickups in pitcher/utility man Roderick Armour and infielder J.D. Matthews.  They join a team that continues to pull off post season upsets at the 'A' and 'AA' Worlds the past two years but haven't been able to put together a good enough regular season in Conference play to make the Major World Series in recent years.  Armour is a huge talent who has played at the lower levels in and around Georgia but last fall led CTC to those huge upsets at the USSSA 'A' Worlds.  He can do it with his pitching, his bat, and his base running.  J.D. Matthews is a military player who may have as much talent as anyone in the game and we finally get to see him take a shot at Conference play.  Primetime also brings back 4 of their big hitters – Ira Brown .762, 32 HR, 77 RBI – Detorren Means .688 – Jarvis Riggins .670 – and their left handed power hitter Chivas Clark .667.   Most of their other veteran players also return and they added another pitcher in Cedric Johnson. 

Outlook:  If the new pickups are truly the last pieces to the puzzle then Primetime could be a contender to make it to the final 4 of the 'A' division.  They are always one of the top teams on the BSC circuit and the team plays somewhere almost every weekend.

Players to Watch:  Armour and Matthews are exciting players to see play.  They are 5 tool players and Matthews may have the best infield arm in the game.

 

Roderick Armour and J.D. Matthews

 


 

#22 A&A Utility/TI Sports/Hovas/ASP (TX-A)


Joshua Bergeron- IF
Chris Lopez – P
Brandon Bellamy – IF
Ryan Galiher – OF
Chris Robertson IF
Jason Ferguson – IF/C
Jason White – OF
Daniel Homann – OF
Joe Marquez – IF/C
Michael Martinez P/IF
Richard Salazar -IF
Peter Hernandez – IF/C
Kyle Bullock – IF/OF
Lane Young – OF/IF
Chris Terry – OF/IF
Joshua Waltrich- IF/OF

Coach – Art Gonzalez
Coach/Stats – Adrian "Train" Sanchez 
Assistant coach – Ray "Shrek" Reyna

Sponsors:
A&A UTILITY CO – ARTHUR GONZALEZ JR
TI SPORTS – ROY LEDESMA
HOVAS DEVELOPMENT – ADRAIN SANCHEZ
ASP NATION – LYF NIMMO

SCHEDULE IS :
JAN 20-21 NTX WW – Mansfield Tx
March 23-24 Trip Roth – Lafayette, LA
April 13-15 Space City – LC, Texas
April 19-22 The Dual – Florida
May 18-20 Legends – Euless, Texas
May 25-27 Pure Sports, Atlanta GA
June 8-10 Sooner – Tulsa, OK
July 6-8 Busch Classic – Little Rock
July 27-29 Cajun – Carencro, LA
Aug 3-5 Columbus – Columbus, OH
Aug 31-Sept 2 – A WORLDS- FLORIDA
Conference Championship and the Major

A&A Utility and sponsor Art Gonzalez return to the Conference with a new group of Texas players plus an Ohio connection with infielder Brandon Bellamy from Headlines and hitter Jason Ferguson who last played with BHR when they won the 2016 USSSA 'A' Worlds.  Doing the pitching will be Chris Lopez who last played with Rebel Sports and they grabbed infielder Richard Salazar who has played with Line Drive in the past, Chris Robertson who played with Insidious, and Peter Hernandez a slugger who played with Art's team a year ago.  They also made a late addition of left handed hitter Chris Terry from California who also played with BHR in 2016 and Racks last year.  Terry can play both infield and outfield and provides that big onbase percentage a new 'A' team will need.

Outlook: The team has some experience.  They will be a long shot to make the Major World Series.  The chemistry could be good with a primarily Texas roster and the regional schedule is good for this team.

Players to Watch: Kyle Bullock won USSSA 'A' Worlds with Steel a year ago and can play both middle infield and center field and Jason White has been around the Conference and is a very young and improving player.

 

Kyle Bullock and Jason White – up and coming Texas talent

 


 

#23 Classic Glass / Easton (CA-A)


Andrews, Karlan
Cayton, Daniel
Cox, Cameron
Falcone, Ben
Formosa, Tommy
Kawai, Cameron
Martinez, Timmy
Newman, Nate
Ramirez, Ryan
Richardson, Jack
Schwinden, Chris
Traylor, Brandon

Mike Visser- Coach
Tom Formosa Sr. – Manager
Don Hollingsworth- Stats/Travel
Classic Glass- Sponsor
Tom Formosa Sr- Sponsor
Tom Formosa Jr. – Sponsor
Easton- Brett Helmer

Tentative Conference Schedule
April 6-8          Las Vegas
April 19-22      HOF Dual
May 18-20       Texas Legends
June 8-10        Tulsa, OK
June 21-24      Kent, WA
July 6-8           Little Rock, AR
July 27-29       Aurora, CO
Aug 31- Sep 2   A Worlds
Sept. 19-22     Major World Series

Classic Glass and their sponsor Tom Formosa Jr. return with a new look lineup for 2018.  Many of the big name players like Larsen, Fox, Amaya, and Tyson Steele among others are gone.  And they have gone back to a more local team with a lot of new faces.  They bring back long time utility man Brandon Traylor, infielder Cameron Cox, and their backup pitcher Nate Newman will likely move into a starting role.  They also grabbed Monsta and former MyAutoJack slugger Tim Martinez.

Outlook: Classic would need to win one of the smaller Conference events like Tulsa, Arkansas, or Colorado to have a chance at the top 16.  Classic Glass will start as a TBD team but will most likely end up in class 'A' as this is really a brand new team from their 'AA' team that finished 4th at Worlds last fall.

Players to Watch: Can former Combat player Cameron Cox and Brandon Traylor use their experience to lead this team into the top 20?  Who will emerge from the new Conference talent, many of whom get their first real shot?  And can Tim Martinez have that breakout year in his first year in the Conference?

 

Brandon Traylor and Tim Martinez

 


 

#24 B&B/Worsham/Bad Draw/BAF/Easton (NC-A)

Freddie Bynum was added as a player

Brandon Cashwell was added as a sponsor

2018 Tournament Schedule:
April USSSA HOF Dual Major
April USSSA Charlotte Major
May USSSA Chattanooga Major
May USSSA Atlanta Major
July USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic
July USSSA Cincinnati Major
August USSSA A World
September USSSA AA World
September USSSA Major World
* Could add 1 or 2

The 2017 B&B and Worsham sponsors have merged for 2018 to form a formidable 'A' team based out of North Carolina.  Pitcher Shawn Jones, infielder Eric Bunn, and outfielder Matt Bunn all come from the Worsham 'B' team.  And sluggers Timmy Mickey (754, 49 HR, 104 RBI) and Jess Maloney (771, 53 HR, 114 RBI), as well as hardnosed shortstop CJ Jacinto, speedy outfielder Evan Jarman, and 3rd baseman David Forbes come over from B&B.  Then they grabbed catcher Kyler Kirkland and outfielder Jeff Bloomer from TM Sports, and made a late addition of IF/OF Freddie Bynum when he became available.

Outlook: A solid 'A' team that could surprise some teams and has a legitimate outside shot at making the Major World Series.

Players to Watch:  Bynum is a former Major League Baseball infielder who played shortstop for Dan Smith last year and is a fun one to watch.  Maloney and Mickey have been at it for a long time but had huge breakthrough seasons offensively in 2017.  Can they repeat?  The outfield of Jarman, Bloomer, and Bunn has a lot of range and all are young enough to continue to improve.  And veteran pitcher Shawn Jones has been through the wars.  This team will need catcher Kyler Kirkland to match Maloney and Mickey on the offensive side and Forbes continues to get better with experience at 3rd base after moving over from 1st base last year.

 

Freddie Bynum

 

Jess Maloney and Tim Mickey in Chattanooga last year

 


 

#25 Stars/ThunderNation/VSP/Miken (CO-A)

Stars/Thunder Nation sponsored by William Sanchez is a mix of Colorado and New York area players.  They have center fielder Artie Barcelo, shortstop Jake Kessler, and power hitters Mike and Ryan Snyder from the 2016 Thunder team that was bumped to 'A' and finished 2nd at the USSSA 'A' Worlds.  They also have pitcher Brian Therkildsen who knows how to pull of the upsets, infielder Wes Tallon who has played conference with Stars in the past, and a contingent of newer Colorado players.

Outlook: Stars has many of the pieces and pitching necessary to compete in the 'A' division and are a welcome addition to the conference.

Players to Watch:  The Snyder brothers should be free swinging which means they could have a big year.  Therkildsen is the tallest pitcher in the Conference and has a real presence on the mound.  And Artie Barcelo in center field could be set for a big year.  Where is Micah Schnurstein?

 ‚Äč

Artie Barcelo and infielder Jake Kessler will provide some defense

 


 

#26 Smash It Sports/Thunder/Dominos/Nomad/Easton (NY-B)


Matt Zurawel
Charles Baumgartner
Dennis Nourry
Jon Myler
Chris Wood
Matt Beach
Branden Blake
Scott Davis
Todd Traynor
Kevin S Johnson
Kevin Johnson
David Teerlinck
Jacob Sharpe
Chad McCarthy
Kyle McClain
Andrew Mrozek

Coaches:
Harvey Jett
Don Fazio
Mark Gaisser

Schedule:
Super Dual in Brick, NJ
Dual Event – Viera, FL
Choo Choo Classic- Chattanooga, TN
Northeast Shootout- Branford, CT
Schiffhauer Classic- Rochester, NY
Maryland Major- Glen Burnie, MD
Cinncy Major- Cinncy, OH
Firecracker- Branford, CT
Columbus Major- Columbus, OH
Conference Championship- TBD
A Worlds
B Worlds

Sponsors:
Smash It Sports- Rick Schiffhauer
Thunder- Seth Green
Dominos- Mark Gaisser
Nomad- Nick Macaluso
Ferra’s- Jim Ferra

*Easton Bat Sponsorship*

The Smash It Sports "A/B" team enters the Conference for the first time after a number of years where they were considered one of the best non-Conference teams in the nation.  Doing the pitching is Matt Zurawel who guided the 2016 Thunder team to a 2nd place finish at the USSSA 'A' Worlds.  They also have hitters Charles Baumgartner and Dennis Nourry from that Thunder team as well as former Taylormade shortstop Branden Blake.  

Outlook:  The team is athletic and has enough youthful energy to pull some early round upsets at the big Conference events.

 

Matt Zurawel and Dennis Noury 

 


 

#27 Tradesmen/Louisville Slugger/Savon (UT-A)

Tradesmen is put together by Joe Visser based out of Utah they return for their 2nd season in the Conference.  They have a Canadian "flavor" to the team with some of Canada's best players on their roster like sluggers Jason Legault and Francois Henry, as well as Justin Pennel, and Jeff Andrews among others.   Andrews and Pennel are members of the 2018 Team Canada Border Battle roster.  It will be interesting to see how this team meshes together and whether or not they can compete at the top of the USSSA 'A' division?  Success will depend on how fast these new Conference players adjust to the game and the travel and if they have enough defense and base hitting.  This team also added longtime Combat slugger Johnny McCraw who had retired from Conference play a couple of years ago and was the 2008 USSSA Major World Series MVP!
 

Former Combat players Johnny McCraw and Canadian Francois Henry

 


 

#28 Rebel Sports/Dirty Sports/Miken (MI-TBD)


Justin Aldora
William Block
Matthew Chromy
Joe Dorton
Bryan Goins
Robert Hendren
Tom Luna
Corey McMahon
Brett Melton
Matt Michael
Mike Newsted
Kevin Raisor
JJ Schimizzi
Josh Smith
Chris Waterman
William Weakley
Steve Zemanek

2018 Tournament Schedule:
April USSSA HOF Dual Major
May USSSA Columbus, Indiana Major
May USSSA Atlanta Major
June USSSA Chicago Major
June USSSA Indianapolis Major
July USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic
July USSSA Cincinnati Major
August USSSA Columbus, OH Major
August USSSA A World
September USSSA AA World
September USSSA Major World

Rebel Sports based out of Michigan returns to the conference with their mix of Michigan, Indiana, Florida, and Ohio players.  They added the gold glove of 1st baseman Steve Zemanek as well as Astros super utility man Justin Aldora.  They also bring back the veteran left-hand hitter Tom Luna who had taken a couple years off.  The DirtySportsWear.com owner Robert Hendren plays infield for this team and the hitting attack will be led by veterans Brett Melton, Joe Dorton, and outfielder Kevin Raisor.  They also added Will Weakley who has played with Primetime and Adiktiv.  The team is put together by JJ Schimizzi and they will have a 'TBD' leaning towards 'A' classification to begin the season.  The downside of this team is age, the upside is experience.  Rebel has searched for the right mix for a few years now.

 

Steve Zemanek from Nightmare and Justin Aldora from Astros are two more pieces to the Rebel puzzle

 


 

#29 Sports Reach (KY-B)


Shaun Ballard
Brian Bradler
Mike Kelley
Edward Garcia
Josh Cummins
Devin Luckett
Jason Hatley
Cody Pack
Carter Pack
Ben Gambill
Clint Fox
Chris Stamper
Bill Chard
Robby Speer
Dennis Campbell
Alfedro Bohorquez
 
Tentative 2018 Schedule
Feb 24-25 WSL Winter Worlds – Chattanooga, TN
April 19-22 The Dual – Vierra FL
May 11-13 Columbus IN
May 25-27 Atlanta, GA
June 15-17 Pic O Dixie – Chattanooga, TN
June 23 (Prison Ministry Trip)
July 6-8 NSA Southern KY Classic – Burkesville KY
July 13-15 Smoky Mountain Classic – Maryville, TN
July 20-22 Cincinnati, OH
August 3-5 Columbus, OH
August 18 (Prison Ministries Trip)
Aug 31-Sept 1 GSL Worlds – Columbus OH or A Worlds Vierra Beach FL
Sept 8-9 WSL Worlds – Maybe
Sept 21-23 USSSA B Worlds – Vierra FL

SportsReach.org is a new Conference team put together by long time Kentucky softballer Robby Speer.  Speer works with a prison ministry company called SportsReach.org and will be touring prisons throughout the year reaching inmates through the game of slow pitch softball.  The team has a few veteran Conference players like slugger Shaun Ballard, pitcher Chris Stamper, and 3rd baseman Clint Fox from the 2017 Cornerstone teams and Cody Pack who has played with a few Conference teams over the years.  The roster is primarily made up of players from Kentucky.

 

Shaun Ballard and Chris Stamper

 


 

#30 Nally's/D&D/Beserk/Slugger/Demarini (MO-A)


 Harley Page – P
 Daniel Herren – SS/U
 Spencer Selby – OF
 Jordan Poole – IF
 Justin Boman – IF
 Ryan O’Hare – OF
 Chris Little – OF
 Scott Krutel – IF
 Scott Morrison – 1st/C
 Reb Smith – IF
 Logan Wysong – C/EH
 Jesse Skaggs – OF
 James DeLaGarza – P/U
 Travis Hulbert
 John Chaisson
 Trey Branscum
 Conner Murray
 Troy St.Clair
 Andrew Miller
 Josh Tallent

2018 Tournament Schedule:
April USSSA Houston Major
April USSSA HOF Dual Major
May USSSA Chattanooga Major
June USSSA Chicago Major
June USSSA Tulsa Major
July USSSA Arkansas Major
July USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic
July USSSA Colorado Major
August USSSA Columbus, OH Major
August USSSA A World

Nally's was put together by Harley Page and based out of Missouri and is another new 'A' team.  They have a few Conference veterans like infielder/outfielder Travis Hulbert who won 'A' Worlds in 2017 with Steel Sports, and infielder Reb Smith who played with Nightmare in the past.  The team will have some roster flexibilty if they remain in 'A' and I heard a rumor they picked up former L&S Glass hitter Josh Tallent? who had a .755 on base percentage his rookie year.  This will be yet another team we will have to evaluate better once they take the field in Houston and Florida.  Nally's has had a slow start in offseason tournaments so far and I only have them ranked this high if they stay 'A' and have more of that roster flexibilty.

 

Travis Hulbert mad all world team at USSSA 'A' last year and a rumor that they picked up Tallent?

 


 

#31 L&S Glass/GTS/Worth (CA-B)

2018 Tentative Schedule:
April 6-8 Sin City Major Las Vegas
April 13-15 Space City Classic Houston
May 18-20 Texas Legends Major Euless
June 1-3 Windy City Major Carol Stream
June 21-24 Easton Dual Seattle
July 27-29 Rocky Mountain Shootout Aurora
August 24-26 ASA B Worlds Minnesota
September 21-23 USSSA B Worlds
Possibly GSL 'B' World

L&S Glass/GTS/Worth sponsored by Rich Ledeit, Beau Hamilton, and Chris Hoshaw returns to the Conference after a year where they struggled some playing in it but pulled off a couple of big upsets at the Seattle Major and shocked the world with their USA Softball 'B' National Championship!  They have some experience, some good unknown talent, and they should be a contender in the 'B' division this year.  They do have to replace the loss of Josh Tallent their leading hitter and their roster flexibility is limited by playing 'B', hence the low ranking.

2017 USA Softball 'B' Champions

 


 

#32 SNI/SDA/DYNASTY (FL-B)


Javon "Gbaby" Alston – 2
Kyle Bowers – 24
Jimmy Cobb – 5
Tye Cobb – 7
Gilly Crenshaw – 1
Marquis Curry – 3
Jerome "JG" Godfrey – 16
Yuri Higgin – 8
Robert Kurdy – 27
Taye Larry – 12
Tony Mack – 26
Scott Napierata – 34
Cameron Newhouse – 29
Marcus Princher – 20
Rashad Robinson – 007
Robby Stinton – 22
Steve Wilson – 25

Manager – Bryce Johnson
Head Coach – Darre'll Mitchell – 39
Coach – James Parris
Coach/Stats – Nancey "Mema" Frazier
Travel & Rooms – Jenn Napierata

Sponsors:
SNI Contracting – Scott & Jenn Napierata
Wilson LLC – Steve Wilson
Timeless Solutions & more – Aaron Winston
DYNASTYSPORT – Clay Dickey

Uniforms and Apparel:
Shirt Doctors – Chris & Derek
DynastySportswear – Clay Dickey
Bats & Bags – EASTONS

TOURNAMENTS SNI/DYNASTY:
Mar. 10-11 Stars n Stripes Viera, FL
April 13 – 15 Conference Houston, Tx
April 19 – 23 Usssa Dual Conference Viera, FL
May 4 – 6 Usssa Choo Choo Chattanooga, TN
May 25 – 27 Peach State Atlanta, GA
June 9 – 10 56th Annual Southeastern
Panama City Beach, FL
July 13-15 Smokies Maryville, TN
July 20 – 22 18th Cincinnati Major, OH
Aug 4 – 5 Usssa Open States Viera, FL
Sept 21 – 23 Usssa B Worlds
Sept 7 – 9 WSL Asa & 14 – 16 WSL Usssa Panama City, FL
May add a few small events

SNI Dynasty is the 2017 CTC team put together by Bryce Johnson who has an eye for talent and seems to get the most out of his players.  Last year he pulled off big upsets at the Atlanta Major, and beat Baugh Ford the #1 seed at the 'A' Worlds.  Last year they were 6-0 vs 'B' and 4-3 vs 'A' teams.  But they did lose a key player in pitcher Roderick Armour.  This year so far they are 2-1 vs 'A' and 1-2 vs 'B'.

A key player to watch is middle infielder Jovan Alston

 


 

#33 Olmito Heat/Steel Sports/Diamond Kingz/True Bleu (TX-B)


Entering the Conference late was Gilbert Castillo's Olmito Heat team.  They have a few players with Conference experience like Taylor Lobb, Ethan Dillon, Ryan Riddle, and one of the best pitcher's in Texas…Larry Juarez.  Olmito Heat has played Conference in past years and will play that Regional Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana schedule as they prepare for a 'B' World run.  Olmito Heat is 4-1 vs 'A' teams and 4-3 vs 'B' teams in the offseason upper tournaments this year.

 

Larry Juarez and Taylor Lobb when they played with All Out

 


 

#34 La Famiglia/Easton/Elite Sports/DRMG (PA-B)


Brendan Mullen
Tom Wingard
Mychael Evans
Clayton Farrar
Josh Fyffe
Justin Lutheran
Zack King
Matt Westwood
Tanai Alston
Seth Ricketson
Tim Fung
Dave Durso
Don McDuffee
Eric Challburg
John "Word" Robinson
MJ "Marv" Parsons

Manager – Tom Wingard
Coach – John Carson
Sponsors – Tom Wingard – DRMG
Brett Helmer – Easton
Carlos Vegas – Elite Sports
Travel – Alaysha Browning, John Carson, Rachel Rovnak

2018 Tentative Schedule
April 13-15 Space City Classic Big League City, TX
April 18-22 USSSA Hall of Fame Classic Kissimmee, FL
May 11-13 Hoosier Classic Columbus, IN
Jun 08-10 Bash on the Chesapeake Glen Burnie, MD
Jul 13-15 50th Smoky Mountain Classic Maryville, TN
Jul 20-22 Cincinnati Men's Major Cincinnati, OH
Aug 03-05 Columbus BATS Major Columbus, OH
Aug 17-19 GSL A World Series Cincinnati, OH
Aug 24-26 ASA B World Series Prairie Island, MN
Aug 31-Sep 02 GSL B World Series Columbus, OH
Sep 21-23 USSSA B World Series Viera, FL

LaFamiglia is a new Conference 'B' team put together by Tom Wingard out of Pennsylvania after playing 'C' last year.  They won a nice winter world tournament in Texas over the winter.  Their known players are John Robinson who is a Major Watch list player, Tanai Alston an infielder that bounced around the Conference the past two years, Seth Ricketson who was with TDB a year ago, and Mychael Evans who led off for Premier last year.  This team could be in the mix in 'B' by the end of the year and are playing a big schedule.

 

 

 


 

#35 Rapid Fire Sports Lounge/Bad Draw/Miken Worth (VA-A)


Cam Byars
Bradley Scott
Jablonski JB Jennings
Chris Nann
Austin Mccullough
Anthony Chavis
Thomas Mills
Chris Pudge Isennock
David Thurston
Hunter Young
Travis Fields
Justin Taylor
Justin Baxley
Rodney Rodriguez
Mark Katz
Terry Hoffman
CJ Jacinto
Freddie Bynum
David Forbes
Brandon Cashwell Sponsor/Coach

2018 Tentative Schedule
Hall of Fame Classic
Demarini Classic
Pure Sports Peach State Shootout
Bash on the Chesapeake
Smoky
Cincinatti
Columbus
A Worlds

Rapid Fire is another team that we don't know enough about in order to properly rank pre-season.  I think they will move into the pre-season top 30 once I receive all of the rosters and being an 'A' team they have more roster flexibilty throughout the season.  Rapid Fire put together by Mark Katz is yet another new Conference team for 2018!  They are based out of Virginia and feature former 3rd Street and OA Apparel pitcher Cam Byars, and former TDB and Primetime infielder/outfielder JB Jennings.  The rest of the players look like a mix of good coastal 'B' and 'C' players from various teams.  The southeastern schedule with two trips to Ohio should be about right for this up and coming team.

 

Cam Byars who actually started his conference career with Team 454 and Military softball star Jerblonski Jennings 

 


 

#36 WILEYS/SUPREME/ALPHA PRIME SPORTS (FL-B)


William Block
Christian Cancio
Richard Carlson
Ryan Chavis
David Greene
Juan Hidalgo
Joseph Mclemore
Oscar Pajon
Roberto Pajon
Osvaldo Sanchez
Stephen Scott
Nery Tijerino
Brandon Wessner

2018 Schedule2018 Tournament Schedule:
April USSSA Houston Major
April USSSA HOF Dual Major
May USSSA Atlanta Major
June USSSA Maryland Major
July USSSA Cincinnati Major
August USSSA Florida States
August USSSA A World
September USSSA AA World ?
September USSSA B Worlds

Sponsors
Rick Wiley
Supreme Collison
Alpha Prime Sports

Sponsor Rick Wiley returns to the Conference again after struggling in 2017.  They are known for some big upsets over the years in Conference and they have a few new names like Christian Cancio who had an end of year stint with the Dan Smith Major team and the return of shortstop Roberto Pajon who won 'AA' Worlds with Precision in 2016.  They also grabbed some of the Beetech players.  Rick has put together a nice schedule of southeastern tournaments and will help fill out the upper level World events in Viera, Florida.  Wiley's is in action this weekend (March 10th) at the Stars and Stripes tournament in Florida.

 

Shortstop Roberto Pajon returns to Wiley's

 


 

#37 Wood Law  (TX-B)


Player / Sponsor Doug Wood          C
Dennis Shrum,      1B, EH
Taylor Albrecht     Util/P
Austin Peacock     OF/Inf
Ross Borkowski    OF
Blake Nelson        P
Zach Saint Pierre  OF
Matt Strode          OF
James Baker         Inf
Joshua Choate     Inf
Logan Tewilliger  Inf
Justin Denman     Inf
Michael Williams  EH/C
Eric Sylvester       OF

Craig Burns        Coach
Doug Wood        Sponsor
Don Payne          Sponsor

Tentative Schedule:
Jan 20       Winter Worlds                         Mansfield, TX
Feb 17      Winter Texas State                  Rowlett, TX
March 17  Mesquite Kickoff                     Mesquite, TX
April 13   12th Annual Space City Classic  Houston, TX
April 19   USSSA Hall of Fame Classic        Viera, FL
April 29   Texas Budfest                            Mansfield, TX
May 18   18th Annual Texas Legends      Euless, TX
June 8     Sooner Invitational                     Tulsa, OK
June 24   Lonestar Texas                          Mansfield, TX
July 7     39th Busch Classic                     Little Rock, AK
July 13   50th Smoky Mountain Classic    Maryville, TN
July 27   40th Annual Cajun Classic         Carenco, LA
Aug 3     B State                                       Euless, TX
       or    6th Annual Columbus BATS Major   Columbus, OH*
Sept. 1   Conference Championship**       Viera, FL
Sept 19  USSSA Major World Series**       Viera Fl
              B World

*If needed
**If Qualified

Player/Sponsor Doug Wood returns to the Conference in 2018 with his Chill Sports team from 2017 with a couple of new players.  He also picked up former Vivid utility man Taylor Albrecht and long-time Major veteran Dennis Shrum.  Although I am not sure if Major List players can still play 'B'?  This team has a lot of quality softball on its schedule and bunch of players we will have to learn about.  They are 3-0 vs 'B' teams in the offseason tournaments.

 

Dennis Shrum and Taylor Albrecht when they played with Vivid

 


 

#38 Insane Sports/Basement/Ray's/M24  (OH-B)


Mike Bailey
Mike Cairns
Travis Crooks
Ryan Cummins
Shawn Finch
Shawn Green
Mike Lemponen
Tyler Maag
David Miller
Kevin Miller
Chris Pastva
Mike Rogers
DJ Schreckengost
John Taylor
Travis Smith
Adam Young

Coach-Scott Whipkey
Coach-Joe Garrett
Coach-Herschel Byers

2018 Schedule
GSL Moneyball Columbus, OH
Louisville Slugger/DeMarini Classic Charlotte, NC
Hoosier Classic Columbus, IN
Bash on the Chesapeake Glen Burnie, MD
Circle City Classic Indianapoils, IN
GSL King of the Hill Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati Major Cincinnati, OH
Columbus BATS Major Cincinnati, OH
GSL A Worlds Cincinnati, OH
GSL B Worlds Columbus , OH
B Worlds Viera, FL

Sponsors
Insane Sports
The Basement
Ray’s Place
M24 Batting Gloves

Insane Sports is a new Conference team from Ohio they have just a little upper level experience with players like DJ Schreckengost who played with Tailgaters, and big David Miller the left-handed power hitter from Above All Landscaping.  Although Miller coaches college baseball now so he may not be available much in the first half of the season.  This is another team that is a bit of an unknown so thus the low ranking.  At worst they are a middle of the road 'B' team that will battle all year with the other 5 'B' teams in the State.  At best they are the next Tailgaters, which would be great for the Conference!  Scott Whipkey and some of the management that put this team together are from the old Laria and Pepco teams of a decade ago, while some of the players come from Titan Trucking and other Ohio 'C' teams.

Big David Miller who played a lot of pro baseball

 

 


 

#39 Infamous / Salt Riot / NH  (CO-B)

Infamous is a new conference team out of Colorado made up of the 2017 Infamous and Goonies 'C' teams plus some other pieces parts.  They also added former Racks pitcher Tyson Steele and have former OC Swats CF/MI Mike Gibbens, as well as a few others with some Conference experience like Jake Morton who played with Stars.  The state of Colorado has 5 'B' teams this year so congratulations to them on building up their program.  I ranked Infamous low because they are unknown to the upper level softball world, but with the talent in Colorado and Utah don't be surprised if they exceed expectations.  They did have a big win at the Southwest Invite over Classic Glass.

 

Mike Gibbens and Tyson Steele

 


 

#40 Cheap Suits/Deaf & Dope/ Republic Realty (CA-B)


Scotty Costa
Joshua Robinson
Kenny Bergmann
Sean Namanny
Craig Lovelady
Danny Fontaine
Aaron Gori
Devon Denholm
Steven Martins
Mateo Pacheco
Adam Smylie
Floyd Seabron
Nick Larson

Sponsors:
Sonny Aguilera Academy Mortgage Corp
Deaf & dope apparel
Republic realty

Manager – Sonny Aguilera

Coach – Scotty Costa
Coach – Donald Ybarreche

2018 Tournament Schedule:
April USSSA Las Vegas Major
April USSSA HOF Dual Major
May Manteca Open
May USSSA Dallas Major
July USSSA Chicago Major
July USSSA Seattle Dual
July USSSA Colorado Major
September USSSA B World

Cheap Suits is a California 'C' team that has moved up to 'B' and entered the Conference with an entire roster of new Conference talent except for one veteran slugger Adam Smylie who played with Classic Glass and Team Racks.  The team will play a west coast heavy schedule as they learn the ropes.  The team was 6-2 last year vs 'B' Teams and 11-5 vs 'C' and finished tied for 17th at 'C' Worlds (3-2) and tied for 9th at USSSA 'B' Worlds with a 7-2 record.  They defeated TG Brand, HB Softball, and L&S Glass in that 'B' World and all 3 of those teams were in the Conference.  

The team is best known nationally for their uniforms which look like a tuxedo.  There #36 ranking is really just a product of the roster which isn't nationally known.  I believe most of these guys are from Northern California where Bay Area Legends, L&S Glass, and Classic Glass are all from.  So we know that these teams have talent and can move up the ranks quickly.  Another welcome addition to the Conference 'B' division!

  

Cheap Suits slugger Adam Smylie

 


 

Past Conference Team Totals by Year:

2017 Conference Make Up (39 teams):
 6 Major Teams
12 'AA' Teams
12 'A' Teams
  9 '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

 

4 responses to “SoftballCenter’s 2018 Nationwide Conference Pre-Season Rankings! Teams #1, 2, 3 Revealed”

  1. Cooper says:

    Man ‘basically” the only pick up for TG is Adam Kaminski. Guess someone forgot about Nightmare SS Jesse Solomon and Major Watch List Josh Kirsten

  2. andrew says:

    What team is rulli playing for this year or has he retired?

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