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Trying to catch someone’s eye… 53 players take part in recruiting event at Lady Cyclone diamond

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
While prep softball is in its offseason, that didn’t stop 50 ladies from attending the Elite Softball Recruiting event recently at Elizabethton High School as several college coaches were present to take a look at talent from all over the Tri-Cities and the Knoxville area who made the trip for a prime opportunity to get exposure.

Each participant took part in events to time their running abilities, bat speed, pitching, throwing, and fielding as each attendee had a number on the back of their shirts so coaches could track players who might have provided a glimmer of being a special athlete at the next level.

Elizabethton High School head coach Ken Hardin explained how the event came about.

“One of the guys that is over it, Jackson Greer who caught over at ETSU, and went to UT is really good friends with Coach John Snodgrass’s daughter and they did one in Knoxville and they got to talking about it that there are so many kids up here that want to play and want to go on to college – it’s just an exposure-type thing.

“We had 53 kids today and they did everything from pop times of catchers to speed in the 40-yard dash. Pitchers got to throw and they got to have their bat speed timed.”

The day was a hot one but it didn’t seem to bother the young ladies that were just hoping for an opportunity to do something that might spark interest from a collegiate coach.

“It was just a really good day as we had 12 different college coaches there watching,” added Hardin. “We had several players from the Knoxville area – Central, Karns, Gibbs – they put an Elite T-shirt on them so it was hard to tell where everyone was from. They were worn out at the end of the day but I think they really enjoyed it.”

The event was put together pretty quickly but the turnout showed just how hungry these softball players were in getting their names out there.

“We put this together a month ago and to have 53 kids – we were going to cut it off at 50 and they got those and they took the three extra in case someone didn’t get to come today so we were full and it worked us hard,” commented Hardin.

“Just getting to network with the coaches and seeing that they care enough to come out and look at them. ETSU was even there and that was good because it has been years since they have even talked to a local player so that’s good. Don’t know if we will have anybody go there but it’s good that they are taking the time to look.”

The Elite Softball Recruiting program is intended to help players get information to colleges that they may have an interest in attending and playing for. Videos are made and information put together on each player that attends.

Hardin added that they had different packages ranging up to $200 but it was a service well worth the price considering other recruiting services are a lot more.

“The service will send out the video and information to the schools for them and they can even send the information out themselves,” Hardin said. “We did it to help the kids, not just our kids, but all the local kids. It was good for everybody. It got hot but it was a good day.”