As we get into the fall showcase season, we’ll spotlight various club teams around the country and this week we start by looking at a team on the East Coast with four commits so far and several others likely in the next year including some this fall.
Unlike many teams that keep the same coaches and players together as they move up in age groups, the Carolina Elite organization’s national caliber teams in North Carolina have put in place a structure where the national level teams in 14U, 16U and 18U are all anchored by the same coach over time and the players serve as pipelines to the next age group.
The 16U National team, based in North Carolina, is anchored by Dave Maddaluna and Tori Cragan. Maddaluna merged his Lady Tiger Organization, which was a strong regional player in the Carolina’s, with Bryan Pack’s Carolina Elite organization after the 2016 season and the last two years have seen impressive results.
According to Maddaluna, the team has now “set its sights on making a larger impact nationally by adjusting its focus to more national events as the go-forward strategy.”
In 2017 the Carolina Elite (Maddaluna) team compiled a 67-12-2 record with a roster comprised of 2018-2020 players and the core being a very strong 2019 class and a dominant pitching staff led by Caroline Ruth (2018) who has an ERA below 0.50 for her career with the Elite.
This year, with new team members coming up a year early from Coach Andy Herring’s nationally ranked 14U team (2003 grads), the 16U Maddaluna team reloaded after moving all 2018/2019 committed graduates up to the 18U National team from North Carolina, coached by MK Cheek.