Southeast Texas is blessed to have an abundance of youth sports organizations located throughout the region. Many of these organizations are 501(c)3 “not for profit” organizations with an active Board of Directors and by-laws that govern them. No matter if they choose to run one team or ten from season to season, they are a non-profit organization. Resources that come in are applied to the development of the players and the organization as a whole.
Many of these same organizations such as GT Shockers and Houston Power for example also initiate a lot of charity work within the community working closely with entities like Gift of Life, local hospitals, foster homes, and the mentally / physically challenged. They believe it is important to teach their players the meaning of giving back. One of the other great relationships many of these organizations also have is with Lamar University. This is true for not only athletics but academic prowess as well. Southeast is fortunate to have such great D-1 university in its back yard.
This symbiotic relationship was “put on display” if you will Tuesday and Wednesday (July 8 – 9) when the Lamar University Softball Coaches and Players hosted a two-day skills development and scrimmage camp for fastpitch softball players (13 & Up). They also host a camp for the younger players as well. It’s amazing to see the growth in quality and quantity of girl’s fastpitch softball players, teams and organizations in Southeast Texas. In many ways, this growth can be directly attributable to the advancement of Lamar University’s Softball program under the leadership of Head Coach Holly and her assistants these last four years. The ladies they are attracting to the university are some of the best and brightest — “renaissance women” if you will — gifted both athletically and academically.
However, the progress being made by the softball program and the commitment by the university and the community needs to continue with the building of a “permanent” home for the Lady Cardinals Softball Team. They need a stadium to call their own. It’s kind of unimaginable that this has not already happened. For example, soccer, baseball, football, basketball, etc. all have playing facilities on campus where they play their home games. That is not the case for the Lady Cardinals Softball Team. If the program is going to continue to grow and improve and continue to attract the best and brightest (in a very competitive world) it needs a “real home.” The young girls in Southeast Texas need to see this commitment from the university and the community as well. They need to be able to look at a “world class” softball facility on Lamar’s campus and say “. . . one day I’m going to play there.” If not us, who . . . if not now, when? Now is the time to get it done! The current Lamar players and coaches and those looking to potentially “be recruited” to Lamar in the coming years and the young “up and coming” girl fastpitch softball players in Southeast Texas deserve nothing less.