SOUTH COUNTY — The South Valley Stealth (SVS) Softball program completed the summer season with great results and great community support.
The SVS is a non-profit organization that provides low-cost softball and baseball in South County. This summer the SVS filled 10, 12, 14 and 16 and under teams.
The 10 and under team was led by first-year head coach David Martinez and his assistants Isaac Gonzalez, Sarah Gonzalez and Michael Sanchez-Vega. The team had a core of returning players but had the challenge of developing first-time travel team players.
Under the guidance of Martinez and his staff, the 10 and under team qualified for the Junior Olympic California State Games but, unfortunately, were unable to attend due to financial reasons. Qualifying to the represent the Northern California Region was a huge accomplishment.
The 12 and under team was led by head coach Art Carrillo and his assistants Danny Calderon, Oscar Solis and David Ortiz. Carrillo coached at the 10 and under division last season and brings a lot of energy to the SVS organization.
Carrillo’s strength is that he challenges his players continuously and is constantly looking for ways to make players better.
The 14 and under team consisted of freshmen and incoming freshmen for the 2018 school year. The team had a good core of returning player and talented players that competed at every tournament and faced some really tough competition.
Head coach Samantha Barrera did a good job developing her players to compete for positions at the varsity level at their respective high schools.
Barrera made sure the players are becoming students of the game as well and not just players. Barrera taught her players to understand defensive situations defensively and at the plate. The 14 and under team ended with a really good tournament in Watsonville, that showed the capability of the young squad.
The 16 and under team was led by head coach Joel Ramirez and his assistant Destiny Ramirez and faced the tough challenge this summer traveling to Fresno, Modesto, Turlock, Palmdale, and Lancaster.
“It’s tough as a lot of our parents can’t get off work so the players travel with coaches and our team chaperones,” said Coach Ramirez. “It goes along with our family concept within our program. We help each other out with travel, supervision, and support. The girls appreciate how hard their parents work for them to have the opportunity to improve their softball skills and pursue a possible opportunity to play at the collegiate level.”
According to Ramirez, the 16 and under Stealth qualified for an opportunity to play in the National Softball Association World Series in Lancaster, California.
“We didn’t start the tournament very well in pool play but turned it around when elimination time came around,” said Ramirez. “We finished in fifth place with a loss to the San Fernando Dynamics. It was a great learning experience for these girls and they realized that even though they were from different high schools they still had a lot in common. Playing in 100 degree weather was something we had to get used to. It changes the game and your team depth quite a bit. These girls met the challenge well and were able to adjust to the head and perform well.”
The South Valley Stealth has a board consisting of Pete Meza, Joe Fregoso, Samantha Barrera, Joel Ramirez, Frank Parra, Valery Garcia, and Ercilia Ramirez.
The program provides Summer and Fall Travel Softball and Fall and Winter Travel Baseball.
The baseball season has just gotten underway with a 9 and 12 under program. Interested parties can visit the website www.svstealth.org.