Four Texas Travelers Gold Players Earn Sparkler JUNIOR All Star Showcase Invite

The Colorado 4th of July All-Star Showcase games are an INVITE ONLY event. Players will start to be invited in May 2018 for these games. Monday and Tuesday, June 25 and 26 at the Christopher Sports Complex in Westminster, Colorado.

Each registered All-Star player will receive the following as a participant: Working college coaches: interact during warm-ups, coach showcase game (actively engaged with the players the entire time), provide instruction, conduct exit talks, possible scholarship offer on site, etc., visibility to recruiting college coaches: over 300 college coaches come through Christopher Complex throughout the week, recognition via the Web site and the All-Star Showcase Program publication, and a t-shirt that is available to All-Star participants only.

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Elizabeth Schaefer (2022 Pitcher and Oklahoma State Commit), Kaydee Bennett (2022 Shortstop and Oklahoma State Commit), Karmyn Bass (2022 Catcher) and Madison McClarity (2022 First base) each received the honors for the Texas Travelers.  Players were nominated by select softball coaches around the country and chosen by the Triple Crown Softball Staff based on collegiate coaches’ recommendations and tournament play.

The Texas Travelers Gold are a competitive team based out of North Texas and will be playing in the Tulsa Elite Showcase, Junior Colorado Sparkler, Kansas City World Fastpitch Tournament and the PGF National Championships in Huntington Beach, California.  This year the Travelers have already claimed the championship in the First Stage of the USA Softball ASA Texas Challenge Series outscoring opponents 93 to 15.  They have built a strong lineup of first year 14U players that are sure to be the talk of the softball world.

Both Kaydee Bennett and Elizabeth Schaefer verbally committed to Oklahoma State University before the rules for NCAA D1 early committing changed.  However, they surely will not be the only players on the Travelers who will have an opportunity to play in the Power Five Conferences.  In addition to Karmyn Bass and Madison McClarity; the Travelers have several other players who could have easily been chosen to attend the All-Star Showcase invite.

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Oh Captain My Captain: Macy Graf Chosen as Captain for Texas Travelers Gold

Texas Travelers Gold Head Coach Kyle Bennett has given the honor of Team Captain to Macy Graf, second baseman for the Travelers.  As a natural leader, she exhibits strong leadership skills during all aspects of softball. Before games, she will huddle the team for stretches, start pregame warm-up, as well as constantly encouraging our pitchers during a heated game.  Without hesitation, she will accompany a teammate/friend to their required school volunteer work just to be supportive so her teammate doesn’t have to go alone.

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You will find Macy Graf at the head of the pack with anything she’s a part of; she’s always in the know and responsible beyond her years.

Kyle Bennett, Head Coach of the Texas Travelers Gold makes the announcement of Macy Graf as Team Captain.

“A leader captures the essence of the team, keep everybody focused and as a unit.  Until Macy’s arrival, the Travelers had never turned a double play from the second base position.  Now, the Travelers are averaging four double plays a tournament.  I couldn’t be happier with the choice the coaching staff has made for this kid.  She is truly a special player, but a great leader.” States, Bennett.

The team has responded with overwhelming approval.  “I love it when Macy is on the field while I’m pitching.  No matter the situation, she always has the right things to say to me on the mound.  She also knows where the ball will be going when I pitch.  Because of her defense, I can throw anything that is called with confidence because I know the play will be made.” Shares Elizabeth Schaefer, Texas Travelers Gold Pitcher.

Team Captain is a great honor to bestow upon any player and we believe Macy Graf will proudly exemplify her new role!

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Posted in 04 Texas Travelers

Texas Travelers continue to Break All the Rules

Today, many parents are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for their kids to play youth sports.  They are filled with hopes and dreams of their player continuing their career in a major college or even the pros.  Unfortunately, there are many organizations and recruiters taking advantage of these families and not thinking twice about it.

In 1995 a coach by the name of John Wardlow identified the need of a team that would put the emphasis on player development versus winning trophies.  He provided a team, to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, which was both affordable and competitive alike.  Before handing over the reins to Kyle Bennett (current Head Coach for Texas Travelers Gold) he personally placed over 185 girls into collegiate programs.

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Today, Bennett and his coaching staff continue to provide the same opportunities for their players.  In addition to the Texas Travelers Gold Team, the organization also has 2 other teams in the Dallas Ft. Worth area that adhere to the same principles Wardlow set forth.

In 2017, USA Softball identified the top 360 players in the country.  Teams would be comprised of the best players in 10 regions across the United States and they would compete against each other in Oklahoma City where the Women’s Softball College World Series is played each year.  The Texas Travelers Gold Team had five players (Elizabeth Schaefer, Madison McClarity, Macy Graf, Kaydee Bennett and Macy Hamilton) chosen to be USA All-Americans.  The girls’ hard work on the field was a major reason that their Region 5 team made it to the finals of the prestigious tournament.

Currently, each of the Texas Travelers Gold players are already having detailed conversations with colleges such as Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Harding, Tarleton, University of Houston, Texas A&M and several more.  This is pretty significant especially since all of the players are in 8th grade, except for two.  (One in 7th grade and the other is in 9th).  That’s right, the majority of the team will not graduate high school for another 5 years!  Most of the players are already playing on the Varsity Team of their high school’s Fall Ball Team.

Every large organization has approached the Texas Travelers Gold Team to become part of their organization, but the Travelers enjoy the benefits of being independent allowing the coaches to focus on each player’s individual needs.  The Travelers continue to compete at PGF, ASA, Triple Crown, USSSA and other highly touted events while placing at or near the top in each.

The Texas Travelers will continue to do what is right for their players and their players’ families.  They will continue to develop their kids to play at the highest level across the country.  The organization will play in front of many colleges over the next several years allowing the entire team to pursue their dream of playing college softball.

Colleges will absolutely love the players they are getting from the Travelers organization.  The type of player the Texas Travelers Gold has on their squad is one who is very hard working and competitive.  All of the girls are multisport athletes and have the highest grades in their class.  (Four girls play Club Volleyball at a National Level and one plays AAU Basketball).  Several players enjoy singing and playing instruments and a few of the players are bilingual.

Each player has a personal position coach as well as a speed/agility coach.  The Texas Travelers Gold Players are truly the best of the best at their positions.   Colleges will be very excited to sign these kids as the organization and family have not only prepared them for the challenges on the field, but also outside the lines.

The Texas Travelers Gold Team consist of 7 players that often hit a home run when they step up to the plate.  They have a defense that regularly turns double plays.  Their outfield is known for diving into foul territory robbing at bats from opposing teams.  The catchers are true captains on the field daring runners to try to take an extra base.  The pitching staff is second to none throwing all types of pitches and have a range with a fastball from low 60’s with change ups in the high 30’s to low 40’s.  Two players are close to 6’0” and most players are faster than the average freshman collegiate softball player at their position.

This is a team that colleges will want to continue to follow, and good teams will want to play against if they are looking for the strongest competition.  The Texas Travelers Gold team will continue to accept the challenges of being an independent organization, but will continue to do what’s right by their players and the colleges those players will be attending.

For more information about the Texas Travelers visit, www.TexasTravelersSoftball.com

 

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USA All-American Softball Game features Texas Travelers Gold Players

USA All-American Softball Game features Texas Travelers Gold Players

In January 2017, USA Softball announced the creation of USA Softball All-American Games which will be held at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex August 18-20, 2017 in Oklahoma City.  The USA Softball All-American Games provide national exposure to elite athletes in the 12-under Junior Olympic (JO) fast pitch division and will highlight the top competitors from across the country.

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Texas Travelers Gold players; Elizabeth Schaefer (2022 Pitcher), Kaydee Bennett (2022 Shortstop), Madison McClarity (2022 1B), Shelby Nelson (2022 Catcher) and Macy Hamilton (2022 Outfielder) will help lead an All-Star cast of elite softball players at the 12u level.

“The USA Softball JO Commissioners are very excited to host an event that showcases 360 of the best 12-under players from around the country,” said USA Softball of Southern California JO Commissioner Kristi Allen. “We are excited to give these athletes the opportunity to play at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex representing USA Softball.”

With teams selected from the 10 USA Softball Regions, a total of 24 teams from across the U.S. will compete in the USA Softball All-American games.  Each region identified top players during ASA Sanctioned events and were chosen by commissioners and coaches of the region. Athletes had to be on a USA Softball registered team for the 2017 season and must be age eligible for the 12-under JO division.

Teams competing in the USA Softball All-American Games will be invited to participate in an exposure camp to highlight their skills. The USA Softball All-American Games will also have an Opening Ceremony, free live streaming and live stats through USASoftball.com and a tournament “swag” bag, which will include their USA Softball All-American jerseys and other official USA Softball and sponsor merchandise.

51918919Elizabeth Schaefer has been talked about as one of the top pitchers in the country in her age group for several years.  She is a hard thrower with a fastball that is consistently hitting 60-61 mph, but can easily throw a 36-38 mph changeup to make hitters look downright silly.  In addition to her fastball and change; Elizabeth is known to throw a drop ball that will fall off a cliff at 57-59 mph.  She keeps the batters honest adding in a Rise, Curve and Screwball which allows her to be quite successful.  Schaefer is a very loyal player only playing for the Texas Travelers since getting into select softball and has rewarded the organization with over 1700 strikeouts which is the All-Time strikeout record for the 21 year old organization.  In 2015, during the ASA/USA National Championships in Normal, Illinois; she pitched 9 innings and had 18 strikeouts during the game which is an ASA single game strikeout record for the National Championship Tournament.  Playing at the USA Hall of Fame Stadium will be exciting for Elizabeth as she earned her 1500 career strikeout in the same complex last year helping the Travelers win the ASA Oklahoma HOF Tournament.

Elizabeth will be entering the 8th grade.  After, she will attend Rockwall High School.  In addition to playing softball, she is the captain for the Texas Assault National Club Volleyball Team where she plays middle.  She led her district winning 7th grade basketball team in points, rebounds and blocked shots.  Elizabeth also plays on the Volleyball A-Team, Soccer A-Team and placed in district throwing the discs and shot for Track & Field.  She maintains near perfect grades in school with an overall 98 GPA in Pre-AP Honors Classes and was selected for the DUKE TIP Academic Talent Search.  Schaefer is in Honors Choir and competes in various UIL events.  After high school, she plans to study law and is looking for a college that will help her reach her life goals.

5191119889Kaydee Bennett is the All-Time leader in hits for the Texas Travelers organization.  Her amazing speed and triple threat option at the plate causes problems for opposing defenses across the country.  She can slap, bunt and hit for power with ease.  The story line is always the same, “Where Kaydee goes so does the Texas Travelers offense!”  This is a lot of pressure for many, but Bennett takes it upon herself to make sure she is on base and she has delivered with an On-Base percentage of .898 this season.  Once she is on base, Kaydee displays her superior speed.  Winning numerous select softball challenges; Kaydee has been clocked at 2.7 Home to First and 11.83 Home to Home.  In addition to delivering at the plate, Kaydee is the leader of the Texas Travelers infield playing shortstop.  Bennett can be seen in tournaments tracking balls behind third in foul territory to diving plays on the other side of second base.  If she played in the NFL, she would be a true safety and that is exactly what she is for the Travelers.  She is a pitcher’s safety net on the field.

Bennett is a dedicated student athlete at Sunnyvale Middle School, a recognized high performing school in Dallas County.  Kaydee is heavily involved and accomplished in her school related and extracurricular events include: UIL Academics, STEM, All-A honor roll in advanced courses, A-team volleyball, A-team basketball, and track. Outside of school, Kaydee plays club volleyball as a left side hitter for Texas Assault National Club Volleyball Team, the top team in her age group.  Outside of school and sports Kaydee loves animals, reading, outdoor activities and spending time with her friends and family.  After high school Kaydee would like to continue her studies in the medical field or law.

519198191819191915Madison McClarity came to the Texas Travelers upon her family’s move from Arkansas.  She was highly touted as one of Arkansas’s best 04 pitchers with a very strong bat.  Madison has played catcher, 1st and 3rd base as well as pitcher along with all outfield positions.  She helped lead the Arkansas Wild Thangs 04 to 8U VTD World Series Championship in Coppell, Texas and led the Arkansas Elite 04 team to a 10U Class B USFA World Series Championship in Panama City Beach Florida.  When she joined the Texas Travelers in 2016 she made the choice to move to focus on her play at the corner infield positions which has allowed her to become completely dominate at the plate.  However, Madison can still be seen on the mound from time to time.  For the Travelers, McClarity is a power hitter consistently sending bombs into the stratosphere.  Her 5’9” frame makes her easy to spot on the field and her leadership is seen in the dugout and outside the lines.

McClarity is an outstanding student in Rowlett where she is an All-A/B student in Pre-AP Honors classes for Math, English and Science.  She was the leader on the Basketball and Volleyball A-Teams and chosen as the MVP for Volleyball.  In addition to playing for the Travelers she is also on the Lady Hawks AAU travel basketball team where she consistently leads the team in rebounds and block shots.  During her down time this strong athlete loves to crochet and play the saxophone.  After high school Madison would like to study architecture in college.

689789498Shelby Nelson wanted to play in the most competitive tournaments in select softball and made the choice to play for the Texas Travelers in the Fall of last season.  Quickly, she proved to become a pitchers best advocate with her blocking and framing ability behind the plate.  She is known for making balls look like strikes and her strong leadership on the field.  Shelby can be seen catching for some of the top D1 pitchers in the country which has elevated her into one of the best signal callers at the 12U level.  She has earned USSSA All-American team, Team MVP at the OU softball camp and Most Improved Award.  During the Texas Travelers Spring/Summer Season, Nelson has quickly become a fixture in the lineup due to her power and strong contact.  It is becoming a regular occurrence with her batting over .700 and racking up doubles and RBI’s for the team.

Nelson is an All-A Honor Roll student at Lake Dallas.  She has received the Principal Award (Top Student in the grade), DUKE TIP (Academic Talent Search) and National Junior Honor Society.  She is also on the student council.  In addition to being a great student and playing for the Travelers; she is a starter for her middle school’s volleyball, basketball and tennis teams.  After high school, Shelby would like to become a zoologist.

778948Macy Hamilton is an exciting player to watch.  The Texas Travelers asked her to be a pickup player in last season’s Nationals held in Missouri and she quickly became a team favorite.  She is loved by all of the players and her fans with her hard-nosed efforts at the plate, on the base paths and in the field.  Macy is quick to listen to the teams needs and fast to make adjustments to meet them.  This has been shown recently as she is becoming a great slapper.  She is a true utility player for the Travelers as she plays all three outfield positions and middle infield.

Hamilton is an All-A Honor Roll student, Duke Tip (Academic Talent Search) and National Junior Honor Society recipient at Wester Middle School.  She was the team captain for her district champion volleyball team, starting point guard and team captain for her basketball team.  She was also on the 4X400 relay team for track.  In addition to being a strong student and great teammate for every team she plays on, Macy is a trained vocalist and guitarist.  After she attends Mansfield High School she would like to study Sports Marketing in college.

“I am proud that each of these girls are identified as some of the top athletes at their position.  Texas has some great talent and outstanding select softball teams.  For USA Softball to recognize our Texas Travelers girls is an honor that I am happy to be a small part of” adds, Head Coach of the Texas Travelers Gold Team, Kyle Bennett.

“What a great opportunity for 12-under female athletes across the country to be identified by members of USA Softball’s local associations,” said Director of Championships Chris Sebren. “To have the opportunity to come together as individuals and compete as regional teams in this inaugural All-American Games will be such a great experience for them. These select individuals will join some of the best athletes across the world who will be competing in Oklahoma City this year as we host the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) and the World Cup of Softball. What a great way for USA Softball to finish off our fast pitch season in Oklahoma City with the inaugural All-American Games.”

Designation to a USA Softball All-American team is the highest honor a player can receive and instantly brands the player as one of the top athletes in the United States. Only 360 girls Nationwide will have the opportunity to wear the USA Softball Jersey at this elite event.

The event will feature a free camp for all players, a meet & greet with USA Softball National Team Members, Opening Ceremonies, and intense competition in a 3 Game Guarantee Tournament and a swag bag for all participants.

To learn more about the Texas Travelers Gold Team and each of the players chosen from the Travelers visit https://www.texastravelerssoftball.com/

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Texas Travelers Pitcher Chosen as USA Elite Select All-American

MaKynli Miller, pitcher for Texas Travelers Gold, has been chosen to play in the USA Elite Select All-American games to be held in Orlando, Florida.

USA Elite Select has partnered with the All American Scouting Network (AASN) and the NPF to provide a three-day event experience for elite players. Participating athletes will have the opportunity to showcase their individual talents through two days of evaluations on athletic and game performance.  Players will be evaluated on athletic testing, offensive and defensive testing, mental toughness and overall game performance.

156The National Camp concludes with the Select 30 All American Games, which features the top 30 athletes in each graduation class as selected by AASN following two days of evaluations. These athletes will compete against each other in two games to determine who will be named First and Second Team All-Americans. The final All-American teams will be announced via a selection show on Flo Softball following the event.  The country has been divided into eight regions and we will be selecting the top 26 players (13 girls on each team, two teams in each age group) to represent their respective region.

Miller came to the Texas Travelers Gold by way of Many, Louisiana. Upon MaKynli’s arrival to the Travelers she instantly provided a strong addition to the pitching staff.  Her poise on the mound allows the Texas Travelers to go deep into tournaments.  This was shown recently as the Texas Travelers won the USSSA State Championship as well as the ASA North Texas National Qualifier Championship.  Kyn as she is known to her friends, family and fans consistently has a WHIP under a one because of her accuracy and tight spins.

“When Kyn came to the Travelers, we saw a true leader on the mound and at the plate.  She is a very athletic girl with a great attitude.  She gave us something that we were lacking this season and that is a One-Two punch on the mound.  Combining Kyn with E (Elizabeth Schaefer) on the mound has instantly given the Texas Travelers one of the top pitching staffs in the country” states, Coach Kyle Bennett of the Texas Travelers Gold.

The Texas Travelers Gold will complete the season defending their Triple Crown 2016 Championship finish, 14U Wilson Tulsa Elite Invitational, World Fastpitch Championship, and ASA National Championship along with a handful of other top tournaments around the country.  MaKynli Miller will continue to take the mound for the Travelers helping them stay as one of the elite select softball teams in the country.

For more information about the Texas Travelers Gold Team and MaKynli Miller visit https://www.texastravelerssoftball.com.

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What Does Being a Part of a Team Mean?

Almost 20 years ago I had a conversation with my sister during one of her collegiate volleyball seasons.  She was disappointed that her playing time had diminished.  I asked her, “Would you rather be a star player on a losing team, or a contributor on a National Championship Team?”  Let that question sink in for a minute.

Today, we are in a society that we earn our worth by how many likes we get on a social media post.  We write reviews on businesses instantly and think the rest of the world truly cares what our opinion is.  As parents we sit in the stands and feel the winning percentage of the team defines who we are as parents instead of enjoying the opportunity to watch our kids play a game they love.  Kids coming out of college expect a $60,000 a year job and ownership of the company they are working for.  Half of the population is protesting something and the other half is upset at the protestors.  It’s no wonder the “Team Concept” is getting lost in youth sports.

You have probably seen the following scenario:

1The score is tied and going into the second International Tiebreaker.  Your team has a runner at second and your best batter is up at the plate.  The count becomes full and just like a storybook ending; a powerful swing sends the ball deep into the gap scoring the winning run!

These plays are exciting and as long as I can remember, there is always that one player who seems to get all of the glory.  For whatever reason, there is “that player” who has the opportunity to deliver the big result when the game is on the line.  Unfortunately, behind the fence there is the other player’s parent who is upset because “that player” wasn’t their kid.  Isn’t that a sad fact of youth sports?

2Softball teams are made up of more than just the nine players who are in the field.  Softball teams are comprised of specialized baserunners, designated players, and backups.  Everyone on the team has a role and it is important for the success of the organization.

The key to a successful team is the acceptance of your role to help the team accomplish its goals.  Now, I want to make it very clear that if your daughter is not a starter on the team; she does not have to be satisfied with that particular role.  I encourage every player to have big dreams and strive to reach for those dreams as it will allow her to do great things.

Softball teams only have 9 spots on the field.  Therefore, if your daughter is not one of the starters can she still be a good teammate?  Can you as a parent help your player grow into a mature adult?

Anyone can throw on a jersey and call herself part of the team, but there is so much more to it than that. When you put on your jersey, you are not only becoming part of a team but part of a family. Whether you get along or not, all your problems should be pushed aside, for the sake of your team.

3A good teammate understands that no matter what position you may play, whether you are the best player on the team or on the field, you are nothing without your teammates. The key to a good teammate is being willing to give up anything for your team, sacrificing whatever it takes.  A good teammate will continue to battle with you and not run away when things get tough.

Teammates are supposed to be responsible for one another and look out for each other on and off the field.

The best teammates are ones who pull for each other, even while competing for a position; you should continue to root your teammate on because you are both vital to the team’s success.  You should always want the best outcome for your teammates.

There is no room for negativity on a team. A good teammate should never put another player down; they should always pick each other up, especially on their lowest days. Teammates stick together, even on their worst days. No matter what a player may go through, just think how much more difficult it would be if they were doing it alone.

Learn to Listen or be coachable.  This is a huge one because no matter who is on your team, you can always learn from them. Drop your ego, listen when a teammate talks to you, thank them for their advice and think about what they said. Maybe it wasn’t good, maybe it won’t help you, but you won’t know if you don’t listen to them or the coach.

4Be Supportive.  A team full of players who support each other will do better and have more fun than a team full of a bunch of individuals who aren’t a part of the same common goal. What I mean by supporting your teammates is that when they make a good play – tell them. Congratulate them. When they screw up, don’t get on their case. They know they made a mistake. They’re already beating themselves up about it. So don’t make it worse and call them out on it.

Be Accountable.  In order to be a part of your team, it’s good to know what your role on the team is and what the team can expect from you. Again, this doesn’t mean to not get better at another position that you desire.  However, it does mean to be the best you can possibly be at the position or role you are asked to play.  Iron always sharpens Iron!

Set Goals.  Define some goals for yourself.  Basically this comes down to being realistic with yourself about how much time you can commit to the team, what you can expect to bring to the team based on your skill development and what you yourself expect to get out of the season.  Once you define your goals write down how you will accomplish those goals.  Are you going to spend the extra time in the batting cage, add an extra pitching lesson in each week or work on fielding drills you have researched on the internet?

5Exhibit flexibility.  Roll with the punches when things change. The ability to take advantage of an opportunity, even if it means changing plans, is huge.

Work as a problem-solver.  Good teammates are problem-solvers, not problem-dwellers. They don’t look to blame others, but rather find a way to make things work.

Being committed to a team is the same as being committed to school or a job. Your bosses and teachers rely on you to be there, and they expect you to work hard to become your best. Becoming your best for the sake of the whole is a great teammate quality and also a valuable lifelong trait. This, along with the other teammate traits mentioned, builds our character and shapes us for a future of happiness and success.

 

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Texas Travelers Players do more than just Softball

The Texas Travelers Gold select softball team has been rated as one of the top softball teams in the country.  In 2016, the team earned invites to Texas Tech Showcase, USSSA Kansas City World Series and finished as the ASA Hall of Fame, Hitting for Heroes, ASA/DFW Champions Cup, USSSA Spring Spectacular, Hall of Fame Qualifier and Triple Crown OKC champions.  In addition to picking up top finishes in various tournaments they also placed third in the Ronald McDonald for the year.

For the 2017 Spring Season, the Texas Travelers Gold team will be playing in the USSSA Kansas City World Series, ASA National Championship, Triple Crown and the Colorado Sparkler as well as a variety of some of the most competitive tournaments in the country.  The girls are already being looked at from college teams such as University of Houston, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State just to name a few.  In short, these girls can play softball and play against some of the best in the country.

However, these softball girls excel in a variety of activities off the softball field.  Many of the girls compete in UIL competitions, earn “All-A’s Honor Roll”, DUKE TIP (Academic Talent Search), Choir, Band and other sports.  The Texas Travelers feel it is important to encourage the players to build their resume of activities with other things than just softball preparing them for opportunities after high school and beyond.  The benefits of multi-sport participation are physical, psychological and social. These benefits last a lifetime.  According to many researchers, multi-sport athletes display improved health and wellness, including decreased injury rates, improved athletic performance (they master alternative activities faster than single-sport athletes), improved leadership skills and teamwork, better attendance in school and better academic performance.

The 04 Texas Travelers are a very competitive select softball team and part of a rich tradition of success.  Each team is hand selected.  The organization as a whole is small in nature, but has the success and great reputation as the larger organization giving its girls the highest advantage when it comes to their future having sent over 175 girls to play college softball.  Most of the team are comprised of outstanding 2022 graduates with a few very talented 2023 grads.

1Madison McClarity made the 7th grade “A” team in both volleyball and basketball at Lyles Middle School. She was the team captain and top server for volleyball and is one of the three top scorers in basketball. She maintains an A/B grade point average in all her honor classes. She is interested in Oklahoma University, Texas Tech, Mississippi State and Texas A&M to pursue a degree in architecture. Madison enjoys playing sports, drawing/art, music, video games and hanging out with her family and friends.  Dee as she is known to her friends, family and fans usually plays one of the corner positions for the Texas Travelers and is a force to be reckoned with in the lineup as she typically is in the four hole!  Her raw talent and size alone strikes fear in opposing pitchers.

2Elizabeth Schaefer is a pitcher for the Texas Travelers.  She also plays first base and outfield.  Elizabeth attends Williams Middle School in Rockwall, TX and has a 98 average in her Pre-AP honor classes.  She competes in UIL for writing, stats and reading and was selected for the DUKE TIP (Academic Talent Search) and a member of National Junior Honor Society.  She is an Honors Choir member and plays on the A-Team for Volleyball and Basketball teams.  She plans to run track and might even play soccer in the spring.  In addition to playing for her school and the Travelers, she is the Team Captain for her club volleyball team, Texas Assault.  In 2015 during the ASA National Championships, Elizabeth set a single game strikeout record for ASA with 18.  She has had over 1500 strikeouts since she began playing for the Texas Travelers becoming the All-Time Strikeout leader for the organization which has been around for over 20 years.  She maintains a .87 WHIP, 1.21 ERA, 1.85 strikeouts per inning and a .425 batting average.  She will be starting Rockwall high school in 2018 and would like to become a collegiate student-athlete playing softball.

3Mia Rust will be a 2022 graduate of Union Grove High School. She is an all A student and a member of the “All A” Academic honor roll. Mia is a member of the Maps/Graphs & Charts, Ready writing, & Impromptu Speaking UIL Teams. Mia is a also a member of UG Archery team, 7th grade volleyball team, UG Theater, Junior High Band, Gifted/Talented team, & the junior high Track team. Other interest include working-out, shooting, hanging out with friends, Scuba diving, & playing with her dogs, Gracie & Trixie.  She is interested in attending LSU, Ole Miss, Baylor, Tennessee or Texas A&M after high school.  She plays catcher, first base and outfield for the Texas Travelers and is one of the big bats in the lineup!

4Kelsie Adams is currently a Cheerleader for her School in Van Alstyne. She made her 7th grade Volleyball team and Basketball team. Kelsie excels in her academics making the Honor Roll each report card, and has participated in UIL at her school.  Kelsie enjoys drawing and painting in and out of school. Kelsie intends to run track in the spring and is interested in taking lessons in golf.  She is interested in playing college softball upon her graduation and has earned the Hustle Award while attending the Oklahoma University Softball Camp the last several years.  When watching the Travelers play, you will see her as one of the most vocal players on the field no matter where she is playing.  Kelsie plays Second Base, Outfield and occasionally sees time at pitching when she is needed.  She is a speedster on the base paths as well.

5Shelby Nelson is interested in Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas Tech, Baylor and Iowa State.  Her academic success is very important to her. She has a drive to be the best that she can be at anything and everything she does. She is an “A” honor roll student, a member of NJHS, Lake Dallas Middle School Principal Award Recipient, Duke TIP nominee, a member of student council and The Leader In Me. She enjoys playing volleyball and basketball when she’s not on the diamond as well as spending quality time with her family. She is mentoring young softball players that lookup to her and enjoys being able to share the love of the game with them.  Shelby plays catcher for the Texas Travelers enjoying showing off her cannon of an arm and can play just about anywhere else on the field.  When catching, she is the captain of the field giving her team an advantage by controlling the game.

6Kaycee Bock currently attends Glen Rose Junior High and will attend Glen Rose High School in the future. She plays school volleyball and basketball and will play softball for her high school. She makes all A’s and B’s and is on the Tiger Squad at her school whose goal is to make a positive impact on the school by doing random acts of kindness, and organizing fun and positive student events. She is a member of the Girl Scouts and helps out during the summer at Camp Stevens Ranch. She loves softball, volleyball, basketball, riding her four-wheeler, crafts, nature, going to church and being with family.  During volleyball season Kaycee was a server, setter & middle blocker on her school volleyball team, the Glen Rose Junior High Lady Tigers. She is currently playing guard for her school basketball team.  Kaycee Bock plays third base for the Texas Travelers and is one of the power hitters for the team.  Kaycee is interested in attending University of Texas, Iowa State, Baylor, Florida after high school.

7Macy Hamilton plays both volleyball and basketball for Brooks Wester Middle School in Mansfield, Texas. She has been fortunate enough to be selected as the team captain for both sports.  Currently, she is the starting point guard for the 7th Grade A Team and specializes in playing lock-down defense against the opposing point guard. Macy hasn’t met a ball that she doesn’t enjoy diving for.  Macy is also a trained vocalist and guitarist. She was honored to have been invited to sing the National Anthem at the Mansfield Run with Heart 5k and in front of State Representatives and local Mayors to dedicate a new wing at Mansfield Methodist Hospital.   Along with the extra-curricular activities, Macy also is a stellar student, maintaining all A’s in all Pre-AP classes.  Currently, Macy aspires to be a student athlete and play softball at one of the following colleges: Texas Tech University, Auburn University, University of Texas or follow in the footsteps of her cousin, Kelsey Miller and play for Dartmouth in the Ivy League.  She is a utility player for the Texas Travelers and has a drive that is second to none.

8Kennedy Chastant is very outspoken honors student at Brownsboro intermediate school. She is competitive by nature and has represented her school in UIL and student council. This year she was one of the few students chosen to be in a special leadership class. During off season Kennedy plays basketball and has been chosen for All-Stars each year. This will be her last year to play Little Dibblers before she enters junior high next year. Softball is her passion and hopes to play catcher for a large D1 program such as Baylor, Oklahoma, Alabama or LSU.  The Texas Travelers love her bat in the lineup and leadership on the field and in the dugout.  As a catcher, Kennedy controls the speed of the game and is willing to sacrifice her body to deliver excellent results.

9Emily Jonte is a 7th grader at St Mark Catholic School in Plano, Texas.  When she is not playing softball she enjoys spending time with friends and playing with her dog Rex.  She is an active volunteer at the Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano where she feeds animals and helps with general maintenance.  Emily plays basketball for her school and she was a key contributor in last year’s run to the Dallas Parochial League title.  Emily is a pitcher for the Texas Travelers along with a very good bat in the lineup.  She has multiple pitches with a variation of speed and spin keeping the batters of balance.  MJ as she is known by her friends, family and fans provides the Travelers the opportunity to be able to compete with any team in the country at a very high level.   Emily patterns her game on being a five tool player.  She can run, hit for power, has a strong arm, loves to chase down fly balls in the outfield and can be counted on to drive in runs.  As a pitcher she will offer you 5 pitches:  fastball, screwball, change, curve, drop and she may throw each one during one at bat.  Emily is the consummate team player and enjoys seeing her teammates have success.

10Tatum Cantu better known as Pickle to her fans, teammates, friends and family is very involved in her junior high school, Wheat Junior High in Cleburne, TX.  Tatum has a diverse set of skills.  She is on the student council and was honored with being voted student of the month for October by her teachers.  She is on the volleyball, cross country, cheerleader, and basketball teams. She is also in the Wind ensemble and Jazz band. Tatum wants to work with animals in some capacity in the future. Tatum is an A/B Honor Roll Student at Wheat Junior High.  She would like to go to a school that is not too far from home but far enough where she can have the college experience. She would like to attend Texas, Baylor, UT Arlington, Texas State or TCU.  Tatum is a strong bat for the Texas Travelers and can be seen making ESPN like plays in the outfield.  She also will play middle infield for the Travelers as well.  Tatum is a level headed player who could also be named “clutch” as she has always delivered the big hit when the game is on the line.

11Ever since Gabrielle Briones was a little girl, she always seemed to amaze her parents, friends and coaches. She is always a determined little person.  She loves trying new and out of the ordinary things. If she is not playing softball, she is helping coach her little brother’s baseball team. When Gaby, as she is known to her teammates and fans, is not on the field, she keeps herself busy with school activities.  She is part of the Quest program, recorder club, Signing Choir, Safety Patrol, camera crew and a drummer for PTA performance. On her down time you can find Gaby reading. Not only is Gaby smart, talented and athletic she’s also a sweet, loving, caring and a funny person.  Gabby plays outfield and middle infield for the Texas Travelers.  She has a high on base percentage and quickly rounds the bags as she helps puts runs on the board for her team.  Her footwork in the field is very fluid as she seamlessly scoops up ground balls.

12Talia Gutierrez is the middle child of 5 in a single parent household, and has been the glue to hold her family together. She started out in advanced gymnastics and dance classes very young, and continued competing in any and all sports available to her at a very high level. She utilized her natural athleticism and overall sports IQ to outwit and outplay her always older opponents.  She currently plays soccer and is an amazing defender and goalie, she plays volleyball and is all over the court, utilizes her aggressiveness and speed in basketball to create turnovers and achieve breakaways, and plans to play all 5 school sports offered for 7th graders next year. She stays active in her community by volunteering and regularly attending church, is in theater and is a great singer, tutors other students as a peer mentor, and has maintained Straight A’s her entire life. Her favorite activity is being an ambassador for circle of friends, a program that enhances inclusion for mentally disabled students at her school. They go on field trips together, plan dances and other programs to help those children feel important to their student body.  She is constantly outside and doesn’t mind getting dirty, but she has a girlie side and loves getting her nails done. Talia is a natural leader, she possesses the intangibles that you can’t teach, and the heart to leave everything on the field for her team.  The Texas Travelers appreciate her mental toughness as she controls the outfield and middle infield.  After high school Talia is interested in attending either Oklahoma State, OU, LSU, BYU, UVU, Texas Tech, Georgia, Baylor, University of North Texas, or University of Texas.

13Kaydee Bennett is a country girl at heart and fierce competitor when playing sports.  She attends Sunnyvale Middle School and participates in UIL Academics, STEM Academics earning the A Honor Roll in all honors/advance courses.  Kaydee is on the A-Team in basketball, volleyball and will run track in the spring.  In addition to playing with the Texas Travelers she also plays outside hitter for the Texas Assault Volleyball Club -13’s Black, top team.  Kaydee is the leadoff hitter and shortstop for the Travelers and has a team lead in batting average, stolen bases and in the park homeruns.  She has been rated as one of the fastest girls in the nation from Home to First and Home to Home.  This always comes in handy especially when she can cover from one side of third base to the other side of second.  After high school Kaydee would like to be a college softball player for Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Tech, University of Texas, Oklahoma State or Texas A&M.

The coaches, led by Coach Kyle Bennett prepare the girls to be strong independent young women.  They are getting their players ready to be able to start as a freshman on their high school varsity teams, and with the organizations connection and strong alumni support; the Texas Travelers girls will be able to attract the attention of some of the top softball programs in the country.  As a matter of fact, Jordan Strickland, Baylor Bears history making shortstop, is on the coaching staff of the Texas Travelers Gold Team.

14Jordan Strickland is one of those rare individuals who is looking to give back to others.  In fact, the Baylor Bear softball legend is giving her time and softball knowledge to a group of young, up-and-coming softball players by helping the Texas Travelers.  Strickland’s softball accomplishments at Baylor include the 2014 Women’s College World Series All-Tournament Team, 2014 Second Team All-Big 12, 2014 First Team Academic All-Big 12, 2013 First Team Academic All-Big 12, Seven-Time Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll Selection, and Two-time Baylor Dean’s List Selection.  “I could not be more pleased to have Jordan as part of our coaching staff.  She is a remarkable young woman with a great career, and an excellent role model for all of our girls to imitate” states, Head Coach of the Texas Travelers, Kyle Bennett.  Jordan works with the infielders primarily, but more importantly sharing her experiences on and off the field with the impressionable young softball players.

The Texas Travelers Gold is also a fully funded team.  This is a plus in today’s select softball world where playing for teams require you to pay for their uniforms, coaches, team lessons on top of the travel expense to play at a high level.  The softball players that play for the Texas Travelers save thousands of dollars for their parents because of the support they receive from the continued donations.

In addition to being a fully funded team, the Texas Travelers have a marketing program second to none.  DeliveryMaxx has donated its patent-pending services to help market the Texas Travelers as well as each of their players which will help when the girls start the recruiting process.

The Texas Travelers are one of the top select softball teams in the country.  They have already secured their invitation to the most competitive tournaments in the United States and will fill the additional weekends with College Showcase Events and 14u tournaments.  Even though they have some of the top rated players at their position, the players are always looking to add the right player with the right parents to the roster giving them a heighten level of competition even in their own club.  The players and coaches both agree that their performance at practice, off the field, and tournament play determines their time of play in competition.  The coaches look at each player as an individual and identifies how the player can best help the team reach its goals.

If you are interested in playing for the Texas Travelers, you should have the following attributes and contact Coach Kyle Bennett at 972.679.7702.:

  • Don’t be afraid of competition. Yes, the Texas Travelers have great players.  However, the Travelers give everyone an opportunity to win the right to play.  When the girls take the field, they know they have earned the right to play their position because they are the right player that helps the team reach its goals.
  • Have a desire to play at a high level. The Texas Travelers compete in the most prestigious tournaments as well as College Showcases in the country, and some of those tournaments are around the Dallas and Fort Worth area.  However, it’s not just about chasing trophies or rings.  The Texas Travelers players’ goal is to be ready to start as a freshman on their high school varsity team and then ultimately be recruited to play softball in college.
  • Be coachable. The Texas Travelers coaching staff has a lot of experience, and connections to college experts in softball.  The organization treats every girl like they are their own daughter and wants nothing but the best for them.  This team is not looking for individuals, but they always have a spot for someone who wants to continue the pursuit of excellence.
  • Love to overcome obstacles. Many girls are pushed away from softball because of cost or their current organization doesn’t see their value.  The Texas Travelers are known for finding girls that love to prove they belong and can play at a high level.  In addition, the Texas Travelers players are all on scholarships as the team is fully funded.
  • Have parental support. The Travelers coaching staff makes the decisions on the field, but the organization is only as strong as its parents.  Parents are required to understand the philosophy of the Texas Travelers organization, and positively reinforce the goals of the players and team.  When playing for a select softball team, you will spend a lot of time with the families of the players.  Therefore, it is important to make sure team chemistry on and off the field provides lasting positive memories for your daughter.

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The Texas Travelers will be completing their roster for the Spring Season as they prepare to become 2017 National Champions.  For more information about the Texas Travelers or its players visit the team on Facebook or contact Coach Kyle Bennett at 972.679.7702.

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