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 Florida Gold - John, a team competing in the 16-Under division. Based out of Florida, Head Coach John Bridges breaks down what you can expect to see from his 2021 roster.
Team: Florida Gold - John
Home State: Florida
Head Coach: John Bridges
Team Twitter: @floridagoldjohn
Team Facebook: Florida Gold John
Team Website: www.floridagoldfastpitch.com
Previous GOLD Nationals Experience: 2019 USA Softball GOLD Nationals (14U)– Ninth Place.
What year was the team/organization founded: The organization was founded in 2011.
How long the team has been together: Two years.
Noteworthy events and recent tournaments:2021 USA Softball State Championships (16U)– First Place, 2021 Scenic City Summer (16U)– First Place, 2021 Elite Southeast Dual Qualifier (16U)– Third Place, 2020 USA Softball JO Cup (14U)– 18th Place, and 2019 USA Softball GOLD Nationals (14U)– Ninth Place.
Returning players from 2020: 12.
What are some of the strengths your team will bring this season: "We have a variety of strengths including pitching, catching, hitting, speed, and flexibility. We are anchored by three unique pitchers whose pitching styles complement one another's, keeping opposing teams off-balance. Our offense is solid all the way through the lineup and our team works well to string together hits and score runs. Our team is also unique because all of our players have the flexibility to play any field position and the majority of the team runs below three seconds from home to first."
What is a primary focus your team has as you prepare for the 2021 GOLD Nationals: "Our primary focus in preparing for GOLD Nationals is to work as a team and continue building our team chemistry. Our team understands that every member counts and they are all genuinely excited for each other's successes. We prioritize the fundamentals and generating runs through situational hitting. Each player is focused heavily on doing their job at the plate."
Why do you like playing USA Softball and participating in the GOLD Nationals: "GOLD Nationals is a great experience for the girls because they get the opportunity to play against a variety of teams. The diversity of teams allows our players to compare their own level and style of play to others in their age group from all over the country."