MARION, S.C. -- A Marion youth softball travel team has qualified to compete in a national tournament this month and need the public’s help making the trip.
Marion High School Lady Swamp Foxes assistant coach Darryl Waugh helps organize the eight year old and 10-year old SmashHouse teams established by former Gamecock softball player Ashlyn Masters.
“I have mostly a group of talented players from Marion and our 10U team has qualified for the 10U Nationals Softball tournament in Tennessee in July,” he said. “We are fundraising now because it’s a big trip for this group.”
Waugh said it’s a big deal to qualify for a national championship in softball and the young group has earned it with several tournament wins over the past two years.
SmashHouse will compete in the USA Softball National Championship in Johnson City, TN from July 23-28.
Waugh said the team qualified for the event winning in the first qualifying tournament they ever played in. SmashHouse won the USA softball tournament at Tyger River Park in Spartanburg in April.
“We were originally the Southern Belles travel ball team about five years ago,” Waugh said of the team he built over the years. “Then about two years ago we started competing in some big tournaments getting our name out there.”
Waugh’s 10-year old team features 10 players from Marion. His daughter Macy, a veteran player on the Lady Swamp Foxes softball program joined the SmashHouse 16-year old team last year and helped generate interest from the Georgia-based program and former All American softball player Ashlyn Masters.
“They didn’t have a 10-year old team and once they saw how well we were doing they asked us to join their organization,” he said.
Waugh said he tries to do things the right way in building his squad through team-work and good sportsmanship. He not only teaches the game but helps encourage his players in academics. “You have to have good grades to remain on the team,” he said. Last week the team competed in Chapin finishing in third place in tournament event.
Waugh feels the program is great for the future of Marion High School softball. This past season he joined the team as an assistant coach. He’s coached at the recreation department for more than 12 years. Coaching has become his passion and he wants to showcase the talent developing in the area.
“It was an honor,” he said. “I graduated from Marion and my daughters go here. I’ve worked with most of these girls since they were little.”
Waugh said the team is currently seeking sponsors and donations to make the trip. Contributions can be made to SmashHouse Waugh 10U at P.O. Box 202 Marion SC 29571.
Sheteira Bethea - Marion
Addyson Davis - Andrews
Catherine Ficik - Marion
Emmie Gainey - Marion
Krisalynn Hanna - Andrews
Bella Johnson - Aynor
Ayoni Malloy - Marion
Mallory Prosser - Johnsonville
Kendall Romesburg - Marion
Payten Sawyer - Marion
Nevaeh Shaw - Marion
Amiyah Waiters - Marion
Maliyah Williams - Marion
Kierstin Woodberry - Marion
Darryl Waugh Jr.