2014 Mens Futures Team Named
OKLAHOMA CITY — Eight returners and eight rookies comprise the 2014 USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch Future’s Team roster, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. The team will travel to Kitchener, Ontario, Canada this July to play a series of exhibition games July 24 - 26 at Peter Hallman Ballyard. The team, comprised of 16 of the country’s best slow-pitch players aged 32 and under, will travel alongside the USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team playing in a series of exhibition contests before arriving to Canada.
Highlighting this year’s roster is three-time Men’s Slow Pitch Future’s Team member Brian Zirkle (Kanakee, Ill.). Zirkle was on the inaugural squad in 2012 and has continued to represent the United States each year since. Returning to Team USA for their second campaign is Neil Haglund (Brooks, N.Y.), Dave Kessler (Cincinnati, Ohio), Cory Large (Bedford, Texas), Bryce Oliveira (Hannah, Hawaii), Adam Rockoff (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Mike Umscheid (Kenosha, Wis.) and Andy Vitcak (Oakdale, Minn.), all of which appeared on the Future’s Team roster in 2013.
Rounding out the 2014 roster will be rookies Dale Brungardt (Vancouver, Wash.), Josh Carter (Yuba City, Calif.), Cameron Cox (Mebane, N.C.), Chris Greinert (Casper, Wy.), Westy Guill (Fresno, Calif.), Jonathan Lenz (Sugar Land, Texas), Faron Miller (Goshen, Ind.) and Kyle Pearson (Panama City Beach, Fla.).
"It's an absolute honor to be able to represent your country," said Brungardt. "Wearing the Red, White and Blue with USA across my chest is the single greatest honor I could receive. To be selected along with all the great players that will be on the two USA teams is very humbling."
The team will be coached by Billy Messina (Simi Valley, Calif.) and Rob Humphrey (Burlington, Iowa). This marks Messina's second year at the helm of the Future's team while Humphrey led Long Haul/JJs/Doerflinger/Easton to the Men's Class A Slow Pitch National Championship title in 2013.
"I would like to thank ASA/USA Softball for this opportunity," said Humphrey. "It is truly an honor and a privilege to represent my country. I grew up playing ASA and I can't wait to take the field with the best players in the game. I would also like to thank my family because without their support I would not be where I am today."
Created in conjunction with the inaugural Slow Pitch Showdown competition against the USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team in 2012, the Men’s Slow Pitch Future’s Team program is now in its third run. Last summer, the Future’s Team went 1-2 with a 32-13 win over J&R Logistics and an 18-17 loss to the Canadian Men’s Slow Pitch National Team in exhibition play before falling to the USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team in the Slow Pitch Showdown 32-16.
The 2014 Slow Pitch National Team will take on the 2014 USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team as well as the Canadian Slow Pitch National Team and a second Canadian team in a series of exhibition games July 24-26. Prior to traveling to Canada, the Future’s squad will also compete in two exhibition games against the USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team, the first on July 21 in Midland, Mich. and the second on July 22 in Cleveland, Ohio. The roster for the USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team was announced last week. Visit www.USASoftball.com for all of the latest news on all of the USA Softball National Teams.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com.