With 2nd place finishes in three of its first seven tournaments in Maryland, American Freedom Fund (AFF) Softball is already building onto their 9th and 17th place finishes at the USSSA Worlds Military Tournament in Vierra, Florida, last August, which included 144 military teams from all over the country.
Kicking off the 2109 season, AFF’s Maryland teams have competed in both civilian and military USSSA tournaments at Bachman Sports Complex in Glenn Burnie, MD, Patuxent River Naval Station, MD, Aberdeen, MD and Grand Park Athletic Complex in Myrtle Beach, SC. The season is just beginning but AFF has already seen four ‘Top 5’ finishes, with three of those finishes being second place out of the seven tournaments they have entered.
Incumbent and rookie players to the program share a sentiment that this year there is something exciting happening. Patriots’ Varsity Pitcher, Daniel Gambill said, “This year’s AFF Team seems to have taken a serious step towards being a more serious organization and team. The teams of years past were fun to be apart because there were many connections and laughs but the wins did not seem to come as much as we liked. This year there’s a serious approach to the team to win while also having fun, but again the emphasis is placed on winning.”
AFF’s newest expansion team, Cleared Hot of MacDill Air Force Base, FL, began their season competing in two local Florida tournaments. Nick Barton, Team Manager, says, “Cleared Hot is looking forward to representing AFF in Florida and being part of the club. We are honored to be the first team in the Southeast region to become a part of such a great organization that supports service members and veterans all over the United States.”
With players and coaches continuing to practice and build a unified bond as teammates and as friends, top place finishes are becoming the new standard to which everyone is holding themselves accountable. AFF athletes are just beginning to understand the goldmine of potential within the organization resulting in players and coaches raising their expectations for themselves and their teams. With top place finishes like this so early in the season Gambill added that “I think we’ll going to have four of our teams that are going to be a force in the local area and I expect at least two of them to finish top 5 at military worlds.”
To learn more about AFF and the Patriots Softball Program, visit americanfreedomfund.org.
General Manager, American Freedom Fund Softball