New PDC softball team signs up three more

Published 10:03 am Monday, August 13, 2018

Several members of the PDC softball team, led by Coach Carrie Hoeft, met during July in the Paul D. Camp Community College library to witness the signing of two new fellow players, Nikki Bryars and Casie Wright.

David Mitchell, coach for the PDC Hurricanes, as well as college athletic director, first welcomed everyone before the ceremony, and said how excited he is for the new softball team.

Dr. Dan Lufkin, college president, added his congratulations. He also pointed out to the young women that they are pioneers, and “not many get that opportunity. You alone get to set the standard.”

To which he added that there are also expectations that they “win in the classroom and be just as good as students as athletes.”

Bringing eight to nine years of softball experience is Nikki, daughter of Candi — who came to witness the signing — and Kevin Bryars from Chesapeake. New to PDCCC, the sophomore from Spring Hill College said her recruitment started when Hoeft came to the restaurant where she was working, and approached with the idea of joining the fledgling team. They knew one another from their time in Chesapeake.

“I figured I was not doing anything [outside of work,]” Bryars said. “Why not?”

She looks forward to getting back onto the ball field, and is slated to play outfield.

The coach added, “Nikki originally played at a school in Alabama right after high school. She ended up coming back home and I’m so excited she will be continuing her career with us. 

She’s a great player that brings a lot of great qualities to the team not only on the field but as a teammate and leader.”

No less experienced in softball is Casie, daughter of Lisa — who also attended the ceremony — and Danny Wright from Gasburg. She started playing T-ball at an early age, and has moved up through the years to become a pitcher, a skill noted by Sean Wade, both her travel ball coach as well as assistant to Hoeft.

“She’s a real go-getter — a clutch pitcher, a big-game pitcher — everything we wanted,” said Wade.

Coming from Garrett College as sophomore, this will also be Casie’s first year at the Franklin campus.

A third player who has signed on since that ceremony is Melody Westmoreland of Bethel High School.

She will play as catcher and on third base.

Hoeft added that Casie “has a similar story in that she went about six hours from home to a school in Maryland and is very excited to be able to now be close to home and continue playing.”

Also on the team are freshmen Cheyenne Keith (outfielder) from Windsor High School; Macy Taylor (utility) and Jeana Webb (shortstop,) both from Indian River High School; Faythe Wright from Western Branch High School and Elle Brown from Smithfield High School, both pitchers; Mackenzie Coleman (catcher) from Grassfield High School; Mariah Tawney (outfielder) from Fluvanna High School; Morgan Owens (first base) from Currituck County High School; Megan Edelen (catcher) from Princess Anne High School; Kirsten Flores (second base) from Landstowne High School; and sophomores Bethany Brinkley (utility) and Abbiegail Jones (catcher,) both of PDCCC.

Hoeft thanked all her players for “jumping on board … we’re starting from scratch, and later added, “We are still looking to fill four to six additional spots to complete the team, but we have a solid group and I’m excited to get the fall season started.”

She also said the first game will be at home on Saturday, Sept. 15, starting at 1:30 p.m., and the Hurricanes will play against Bryant and Stratton College.

The season will end with a Halloween costume game against Stratford University on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m., also at home. The season will resume in January and go through mid-May.

There will be 33 conference games and the rest out of conference against other community colleges and mostly four-year schools.