As we near the start of the 2020 USA Softball Junior Olympic (JO) Cup, we're highlighting some of the teams who will take the fields in Spartanburg, S.C.
Meet Gold Coast Hurricanes 16U - Hammonds, a team competing in the 16-Under division. General Manager Kevin Hammonds breaks down what you can expect to see from the team.
Team: Gold Coast Hurricanes 16U - Hammonds
Head Coach: Kevin Hammonds
How long has the team been together: "The majority of this team has been together for 7 years. We have added some players as the speed of the game have past some players by.”
Returning players from 2019: 10
Noteworthy events and recent tournaments: 16U Champions at 2020 USA Elite World Fastpitch Championships in Viera Beach, FL (9-0). Becoming the first Florida team to win the 16U championship. Finished 4th at TCS Nationals in Alpharetta, GA. 7th at 2019 JO Cup and 3rd at 2018 JO Cup
What are some of the strengths of your team: "The team is more athletic than almost any team we play. Our pitching typically shuts down our opponents and we use our speed to clean up anything put in play. Our chemistry is off the charts and these girls play harder when the opponents get tougher."
What is a primary focus your team has as you prepare for the 2020 JO Cup: "We are focused on getting better every day and challenging ourselves by playing the best teams in the country. Covid 19 has disrupted our lives like it has with everyone else. We have a few girls that have somehow escaped the attention of college coaches and getting them multiple scholarship offers is a huge focus."
What are some of the benefits of playing with USA Softball and at the JO Cup: "This will be our 3rd year playing in the JO Cup and it is by FAR the best event we play in each year. The caliber of competition, integrity of the umpires and staff and quality of the venues make it the top event in the country. We have played in all of them and nothing comes close to the JO Cup. The competition is the best we see each year and we leave the event with more confidence every year, knowing we faced the best teams in the country."