Club softball | Photo provided by Arian Mcneil | The Wright State Guardian
Club sports can truly improve upon one’s skills, but they can also present a multitude of opportunities as an individual.
Wright State University had two club softball players named to the 2020 NCSA (National Club Softball Association) Great American All-Region Team. Arian McNeil made the team as a designated hitter, while Alexis Romine made the team as a pitcher.
“The All-Region selections this season was probably the most competitive we have ever seen,” said Savannah Ahrens, the VP of Softball Operations at the NCSA.
The school nominates who they believe should be on the All-Region Team. The NCSA selects which players receive this honor by looking at the stats that are on the NCSA website, and taking any identifying items (player name & team name) away from the stats.
McNeil actually started the club softball team at WSU, and is the president of the club softball team. Club softball means everything to her, and she is grateful for the memories that is has provided her.
“Receiving the award means a lot to me because I feel like it shows as a whole that our club softball program is successful and competitive, but also it reflects the university in a positive light,” said McNeil.
McNeil also had multiple offers from college programs to play softball, but she was concerned how it would affect her work in the classroom.
“Although I had offers, I chose not to play softball in college so I would be able to focus on my studies but also be able to try new things and branch out,” said McNeil.
Season Cut Short
The club softball season was cut short ten games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We were going to win the whole thing,” said McNeil, who was upset they couldn’t finish out their season.
These players and coaches all worked extremely hard to get ready for the season and were very disappointed for it to be cut short.
“Pandemic was very tough on them, they worked out all winter to prepare for the season,” said Rick Armstrong, coach of the club softball team.
This was especially tough on seniors that didn’t get to finish their season the way they wanted.
Opportunities from Club Sports
Club sports can be beneficial off the field and can be extremely helpful in growing as an individual.
“For those who take on leadership roles within their club sport, they are gaining valuable management and organizational skills that they carry with them into their professional careers and relationships,” said Ahrens.
Ahrens is extremely passionate about club softball, and has been involved with the NCSA as an employee and a player for the last 15 years.
“Club sports provide such a unique opportunity for students-athletes to continue competing at the collegiate level, the majority on a national level, which are highly competitive and structured into leagues like the NCSA,” said Ahrens.
McNeil understands the benefits from participating in club sports, and encourages other students to play.
“Club Softball has allowed me to make lifelong friendships with my teammates, gain leadership skills and continue playing my favorite sport at a competitive level,” said McNeil.
Club sports are a great way to continue staying active while playing a sport on a collegiate level. It can also be very beneficial in your professional and personal life by expanding on leadership skills.