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USA Softball GOLD Nationals Team Preview: Arkansas Thunder 16U (Knight)

July 08, 2021, 4:50 p.m. (ET)

As we near the start of the 2021 USA Softball GOLD National Championships, we're highlighting some of the teams who will take to the fields in Salem, Va. 

Meet Arkansas Thunder 16U (Knight), a team competing in the 16-Under division. Based out of Arkansas, Head Coach Bryan Gillis breaks down what you can expect to see from his 2021 roster.




Team: Arkansas Thunder 16U (Knight)

Home State: Arkansas

Head Coach: Bryan Gillis

Team Twitter: @ArkThunderFP

Team Facebook: Akansas Thunder Fastpitch



Previous GOLD Nationals Experience: First-time Participant.


What year was the team/organization founded: The organization was founded in 2007.


How long the team has been together: Six years.


Noteworthy events and recent tournaments: 2021 (6/18U) FASA Arkansas Open State- Placed First, 2020 (16/18U) FASA All Gas No Breaks College Showcase- Placed Fourth, 2020 16U Stars Over Mississippi Showcase- Placed Third, 2020 (16/18U) USSSA East Texas Camp and Scrimmage- Placed Third, 2020 (16/18U) USA Brian Bennett Memorial Classic- Placed Second, and 2020 (16/18U) USA Hiland Diary Classic- Placed Third.


Returning players from 2020: Nine.


What are some of the strengths your team will bring this season"Some of our strengths are hitting and team chemistry."


What is a primary focus your team has as you prepare for the 2021 GOLD Nationals: "Our primary focus is to play passionately and confidently."


Why do you like playing USA Softball and participating in the GOLD Nationals: "We wanted to participate in USA Softball's GOLD Nationals because previous teams from our organization have participated in the event and said it's the best tournament in the country. Also, USA Softball's level of competition is the best. "