A Cougars alumni shares her softball knowledge with local youth
Marcel McMoore, a 2011 graduate of Fa’asao Marist High School and former softball player, is putting her softball skills to good use while she is here in American Samoa for summer vacation.
McMoore just finished her freshmen year at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, whose softball team finished with a winning record in conference play and advanced to the second day of the conference final.
“Field House 100 (FH100) and coach Brandon Smart (Executive Director of FH100) helped myself and four other girls last year get college scholarships to Bacone and I wanted to help give back and try and give more girls the opportunity to play at the college level,” explained McMoore. “College softball is truly an opportunity to get an education and play a sport I really love. So many people helped me get to college and the easiest way for me to repay people like Uefa and Coach Vic of Marist High School, was to give to the group of girls. These girls are so much fun to work with and really have the athletic ability as the guys on island, but just need some more opportunities,” she said.
When asked what the hardest part was adjusting from the high school level in American Samoa to playing at college level, McMoore explained that the stateside girls play so many more games over a high school career so they are more developed and are ready for the pitching at the college level. She feels the biggest thing that could help our girls here is just getting out and playing the game and getting involved with other sports like Little League Baseball to keep active and develop their hand and eye coordination.
McMoore helped the young players improve their softball skills during the summer softball league for girls in grades 5-8, which ran for five weeks ending last Saturday, June 2.
The summer league was sponsored by the Tafuna Baptist Church and FH100 in partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation. Clayton ‘Boom’ Mahuka, who was one of the organizers of the league and has been involved in baseball for sometime off island and on island through the Department of Education said, “When we first decided to start the league back in March, our goal was to start preparing girls for the high school league. We have seen so much growth by the girls not only in softball but also improvement in their physical fitness,” he said.
Colin Bode, another organizer of the girls softball league and coach of the Fa’asao Marist Softball team also said, “The girls have been amazing to work with and have had a great attitude about coming out everyday to get better,” said Bode.
According to Brian and Brandon Smart of FH100, the league plans to start again in the Fall. They encourage all girls to participate in the Little League Baseball program sponsored by the American Samoa Baseball Association to continue working on their development.
FH100 is a non-profit organization designed to help student athletes in American Samoa gain acceptance into college by helping the students transition from high school to college. For more information on FH100, or the girls softball league, contact Brandon Smart at firstname.lastname@example.org.