After college, Donny Dreher had traveled around playing modified fastpitch to engage his competitive spirit and stay active. Little did he know that when he retired to save the wear and tear on his body, that years later he would find his way back around to the game of softball and the Finesse Fastpitch organization.
At the request from a friend to come evaluate a player, he visited a local high school to check out the player. This is where he met Tommie Walker and Denny Schlimgen on this day in 1992.
“I got hooked on it,” said Dreher. “I liked what they were doing.”
As a top recruit in the class of 2023, Alexa (Lex) Rosales has earned the respect of those in the Athletics Mercado softball organization from her hard work ethic. In the fall, she was moved to the Athletics Mercado – Greg/Tidd team to continue to work on her development.
“I would put Lex’s work ethic up against any player in the nation,” said Brian Tidd, coach for the Athletics Mercado – Greg/Tidd team. “Lex has played at the highest level throughout her career with our Academy and is a true leader that has set the highest standard of how we play this game.”
How many high school student-athletes can say they have been fortunate enough to play with a top recruit in multiple sports at the same time?
The answer is likely a small number, but Katie Flannery is one of those players. On the softball field, she has played with Annabelle Widra, a dynamic two-way player who will soon suit up for the University of Michigan. On the hardwood, Flannery played with and looked up to Sarah Ashlee Barker, one of the best basketball players in the Southeast who is now at the University of Georgia.
From the time she was young, Addison (Addie) Mettler has been around softball fields. All that time spent around the game helped her acquire a lot of working softball knowledge. That awareness combined with her motivational drive has made her into one of the top 2023 prospects.
“She thinks the game through incredibly well and she learns quickly from her mistakes,” said her dad and former head coach, Greg Mettler.
“The thought that someone out there in the world is working just as hard as me to get that same spot at a great college really motivates me to get better, because it instills competition in me,” stated Addie Mettler. “I know that is my spot and no one is going to take that from me, because I’m going to work ten times harder on the field and in the classroom to get it.”
For the class of 2022, recruiting has not been the easiest path. This is the class that was being recruited in middle school before the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) passed legislation to end early recruiting.
Now, Sept. 1 of their junior year is finally here. Each athlete has their own story. Some were being heavily recruited in eighth grade and some may not have any idea of who might be calling on Tuesday.
FPN put their collective ears to the wind to see who we should be watching in the newest 14U Class of Players. Take a look and see who aged up riding a wave that will likely make quite a splash in 14U in the 2020-2021 season.