Colleton Stars Softball is a competitive organization that emphasizes fun, fair play, and sportsmanship while developing the players with the correct fundamentals, game knowledge, and skills to enhance every player’s enjoyment of their softball experience. Colleton Stars was developed by a group of parents who saw the love of the game through their child’s eyes and players that didn’t want softball to end after 2022 spring rec ball. Colleton Stars Softball currently has 2 teams, 8U and 10U, the organization is hoping to add a 12U team in this fall, definitely Spring 2024.
This spring season’s 8U coaches are Jonathan Herndon, Brandon Hiott, Randall Long, Heather Davis, and Karmyn Bowen. The players are Lola Herndon, Vera Kate Herndon, Ashleigh Scruggs, Kalleigh Bowden, Kinley Brady, Paisley Brown, Olivia Belcher, Bryleigh Bishop, Maranda Judy, Charleigh Harrison, Hinley Davis. This season’s 10U coaches are Samantha Hiott, Kendall Smith, Coy Smith, and Clint Benton. The players are Evie Hiott, Alyssa Langdale, Hazel Benton, Emery Oertli, Layla McCraine, Ally Stivender, Phoenix Turner, Ka’Mari Bryant, Shylah Smith, and Serenity England. The organization manager is Amanda Herndon.
There is a big transition moving from 8U to 10U which comes with an adjustment for the player, parents, and coaches. There are rule changes that will need to be learned and applied and it goes from coach pitch to player pitch, which seems to be the most difficult adjustment for most 10U players moving up. The transition into a new age level can be overwhelming, but after taking the time to learn, adjust and practice the differences, the players will settle in and be well on their way.
This spring season, 5 tournaments in, 8U has won 18 out of 19 games. “I have never seen a group of girls so serious about playing ball”, says organization manager, Amanda Herndon. So far this season 8U has finished 4 tournaments as Gold bracket champions, and 1 tournament as gold bracket runners up. Most of these girls have played together for the past year and a half.
For our 10U team, it has been a slow start to the season with a 4-7 record but our girls are putting in the time and effort needed to get better. It is always amazing to see their progress over the course of the season and we are excited to see where the team is at the end of this one as well. The coaches and players have worked so hard to get the girls ready for this next level with countless hours working on fundamentals and increasing their softball IQ. Moving from coach pitch to player pitch is a big transition. The majority of the team are playing their first year of player pitch and have had to learn how to steal, how to hit live pitching with pitchers that aren’t necessarily throwing strikes, and a whole new language in the form of signs. In addition, they are learning new skills like pitching and catching, which takes hours of practice time on their own to make progress.
While travel ball is competitive, it’s important to remember that all players have to start somewhere. All players need coaches to take the time to teach the game and develop and motivate them to the next level. “Our organization is blessed with coaches that love the game and love teaching the players. We hope to continue to grow the organization, but that takes coaches stepping up to keep the new teams going. If we have enough interest, we are looking at possibly adding an 8U & 10U developmental team in addition to our competitive teams, and hopefully a 12U team.” says Amanda Herndon.
Being on a travel team requires skill and knowledge of the game, time to put in the practice, weekend flexibility, and allowing the coaches to coach the player. While travel softball is a big commitment for the player and parents, there are several pros that come along with playing such as: new friendships and team building, improved emotional and mental intelligence, and physical activity.
Many sponsors and family supporters have asked why the Stars do not play in Walterboro; for whatever reason USSSA softball tournaments do not have enough teams to sign up to play the Walterboro tournaments, unlike the USSSA baseball tournaments that have the ACE Basin Sports Complex fields packed almost every weekend during the season. Because of this, the local softball teams travel to mostly Aiken and Columbia to play with Top Gun Sports. The 8U girls have 3 tournaments left; May 20 and June 10 in Columbia and June 24 in Concord, NC. The 10U girls have 4 tournaments left; May 13 in Aiken and May 20, June 10, and June 24 in Columbia.
Colleton Stars is planning to have tryouts in July for their fall season. If your girl has an interest in travel softball, please reach out to Amanda Herndon by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook messenger by May 15. Colleton Stars is also hoping to partner with the Colleton County Rec Center to host summer camps, stay tuned to their facebook page for more information. Amanda Herndon says, “we would like to thank all of our sponsors for both teams, as well as our coaches, players, and parents for their dedication to the organization. We are in the learning stages of starting a new softball organization..we are making adjustments and changes as we learn. We appreciate all of the support from our community thus far and look forward to growing this program.”
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