Two weeks ago Wednesday, hundreds of top softball players across the nation in the Class of 2019 saw their dreams come true as they signed Letters of Intent (LOI) to play at the next level.
Some inked on the dotted line at home, many others did it in school ceremonies, at a dinner party in their honor or at some other similar celebratory situation like a club or high school team get-together.
And then there was the big Firecrackers Signing Day Party where, every year for almost a decade, the organization has assembled on average 40-to-60 top players--most of them from Southern California--together in the organization’s headquarters in Huntington Beach to be part of the biggest known signing party of its type.
On Signing Day evening--Wednesday, November 14, 2018--there were recruits going to schools ranging from Army-West Point to Utah, with Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and other others as well, who attended with their parents and coaches to celebrate with snacks, music and laughs to make it official (some did actually put pen to paper while for others it was more symbolic after their LOI was inked earlier in the day).
Firecrackers President Tony Rico addressed the crowd saying, ““We first have to thank Robyn Ferris for coordinating another great event for our seniors. This event started eight years ago and we are honored again to have another great turnout for our Class of 2019 seniors.”
Among those in attendance was UCLA Hall of Famer and Olympic Gold Medal winner Amanda Freed-Katchka, who trains and instructs several players in the Firecrackers organization.
In attendance to pay homage to those signees, which also included future Bruin and Extra Elite 100 Top 10 honoree Alyssa Garcia, she said: “It’s so special each year to be able to celebrate the hard work these ladies have put in to get to this point. I've had the opportunity to watch and be a part of several of their journeys and this is a unique group. I'm excited to watch them excel at the next level.”
Here’s the list of the seniors who attended and the Firecracker teams that they play on:
|Firecrackers - Rico/Weil||Madison Jacobus||Utah|
|Firecrackers - Rico/Weil||Julia Jimenez||Michigan|
|Firecrackers - Rico/Weil||Alexis Laudenslager||Princeton|
|Firecrackers - Rico/Weil||Serena Starks||Princeton|
|Firecrackers - Rico/Weil||Sarah Ladd||Michigan State|
|Firecrackers - Rico/Weil||Alyssa Garcia||UCLA|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Jessi Alcala||Cal State Fullerton|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Megan Delgadillo||Brigham Young|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Hailey Gallegos||Texas A&M|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Megan Ryono||Columbia|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Alyssa Hernandez||Cal State Fullerton|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Kelly Ryono||Illinois|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Carley Brown||Brigham Young|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Shelby Maier||Georgia|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Angelina Bebek||Army - West Point|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Alesia Denby||Fresno State|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Sydnie Wimpee||Purdue|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Amanda Hernandez||Cal Baptist|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Miranda Gallardo||Illinois|
|Firecrackers - Brashear||Paloma Usquiano||Arkansas|
|Firecrackers - Brashear/Roth||Chloe Bahruth||Alabama-Birmingham|
|Firecrackers - Brashear/Roth||Miranda Lopez||Eastern Kentucky|
|Firecrackers - Brashear/Roth||Mackenzie Atkerson||Army - West Point|
|Firecrackers - Brashear/Roth||Maya Avila||Long Island-Brooklyn|
|Firecrackers - Brashear/Roth||Gaby Benjammin||Loyola Marymount|
|Firecrackers - Brashear/Roth||Mikaila Pancino||San Diego|
|Firecrackers - Brashear/Roth||Karsyn Eaton||Molloy College|
|Firecrackers - Kimura||Corry Carrillo||Bellevue|
|Firecrackers - Kimura||Zoe Ballen||Cal State San Marcos|
|Firecrackers - Kimura||Ryan Brizo||Cal Baptist|
|Firecrackers - Steiner||Ryann Steiner||Cal State San Marcos|
|Firecrackers - Caswell||Lauren Cox||Vanguard|