Southampton Storm Fastpitch to begin 5th season

Published 2:35 pm Thursday, July 24, 2014

Birthed out of a dream, need and passion for the sport, Southampton Storm Fastpitch was formed in the summer of 2010 by co-founders Sean Wade, April Wade and Steph Wood. The children of both Wade and Wood played in the recreation league for Southampton County. “We saw a lot of talent in the rec league,” said Sean Wade, Southampton Storm’s Coach/Player Development Director, “and felt the need to help the girls maximize their talent and skill.”

The first season produced two teams competing in the 12U and 14U age divisions. The teams were comprised of girls from Southampton County, Franklin, Sussex, Surry and Suffolk. Wood coached the 12U team along with the help of Ronnie Vincent and Wade coached the 14U team along with Cynthia Cobb, Michael Griffin and Clif Johnson. Both teams played well throughout the year and learned the game of softball.

The second season began with a huge turnout for tryouts and three teams were formed in the 12U, 14U, and 16U/18U age divisions. Ronnie Vincent stepped up as head coach for the 12U team and Wade coached both the 14U and the 16U/18U teams. All three teams were successful on the field and won several awards from Softball Nation, ASA, and NSA. Two seniors secured positions on their prospective college softball teams.

The third season brought another large turnout for the annual tryouts; which resulted in fielding five teams that competed in the 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U age divisions. Joe Stephenson and Cash Camp coached 10U, Jonathon Brown coached 12U, Vincent coached 14U, Wade coached 16U and Kyle Boykin and Clif Johnson coached the 18U team. The 16U and 18U competed in several Showcase Tournaments where college scouts would come out and watch the teams. Throughout the season all four teams competed in tournaments sponsored by Softball Nation, NSA, ASA, USSSA sanctions. As the season drew to an end all three seniors were recruited by colleges to play on the collegiate level. Emily Nelson attends and plays for Ferrum College, Demone Brickhouse attends and plays for VSU and Molly Langford attends and plays for Sweetbriar College.

The fourth season began in August 2013 and produced three teams competing in 14Uand 18U. Brown coached 14U Red, Vincent coached 14U Black and Wade Coached 18U Gold. 14U Red placed in several tournaments and competed in EC Sports Nationals where they finished in second place. 14U Black placed first in 4 out of 6 tournaments in the spring/summer season and will be competing in Softball Nation Nationals on July 24-27. The 18U Gold team placed in several tournaments and traveled to Myrtle Beach, Northern Virginia and Rock Hill, S.C. to compete in College Showcases. They finished their season by competing in EC Sports Nationals where they finished third.

Three of the four seniors on the 18U Gold will be competing on the collegiate level in the fall. Haley Boykin will be attending and playing softball for Richard Bland College; Lacoura Ellis will be attending and playing softball for Daytona State; and Laura Paul will be attending and playing softball for Bridgewater College. Shelby Billups, who was the most recruited player in the organization, decided not to play collegiately; she will be attending Jefferson University.

The goal of Southampton Storm Fastpitch Inc. is to provide an atmosphere that allows for an enjoyable, fun and rewarding experience for all players, parents and coaches. Storm will assist players in developing advanced fastpitch skills and acquire the qualities of a complete player — a strong work ethic, disciplined focus to detail, positive mental attitude and sportsmanship.

Southampton Storm Fastpitch is in the process of becoming a 501c3 non-profit corporation; which does take time and will enable the corporation to be able to apply for grants in the future. In the meantime, Storm is seeking community donors and corporate sponsors to help defray the costs of tournaments, equipment needs and travel fees associated with each team.

For details about Southampton Storm Fastpitch and to download a sponsor/donor form, visit