2018 Year End Review
Year End Wrap
2018 turned out to be a great year for OnDeck Softball. In an era of change and turmoil on so many levels of the softball world, 2018 was an incredible year of tremendous events, significant growth, great decisions, special relationships, and an ever-growing place in the game. We also saw 446 former OnDeck Softball players compete in NCAA D-1 Regionals, with 153 moving on to Super Regionals and 91 players on the 8 teams in the WCWS.
Over the last two years, softball has dealt with its share of uncertainty and change. The two most prominent areas of change centered around the 2017 decision to change the recruiting calendar and the 2018 decision to address and curb the early recruiting verbal process. Both these altered the landscape significantly. However, OnDeck Softball effectively responded by altering its own calendar of events, adopting new events, and further strengthening the bridge between the college coaches and the players and families. The results were incredible.
The 2018 Tryout Schedule took us all over the country. Approximately 48% of players in Jamborees come from our tryout system. We are expanding tryouts to new areas of the country in the years ahead. We are adding sessions in Florida and Iowa along with other areas and will return to Utah in September.
The Summer recruiting period became our focus in order to align ourselves with the college coaches. In its first year, the Huntington Beach Jamboree, held in conjunction with PGF, immediately showed the promise it deserves. Huntington Beach joined the highly acclaimed Hemet Jamboree, held in conjunction with Triple Crown Sports. These two days were a great start to the summer recruiting season. The combination of West Coast talent and the timing of the event make these a must see for college coaches across the country. There is little doubt that these two days will continue to draw hundreds of college coaches each and every year.
The Colorado Jamboree (Sunday and Monday) continued to be two days of highly anticipated play that has been kicking off the festivities in Colorado for the past six years. Since 2013, it has proven to be a major stop for coaches from across the nation from all levels. The Chicago Jamboree continued its reign as the Midwest’s premier summer event. The talent was superb, and the coaching turnout was solid. We enjoy being in Chicago in July, and we truly value our friendship and working relationship with Bill Conroy and Gerry Quinn.
We capped off the summer at the end of July with the PGF Senior All American Game. The game has rocketed to prominence in an incredibly short period of time. The West won the 2016 game. The East won the second in 2017. But in 2018, the pendulum swung back to the West with a 4-1 victory behind the hitting of Jazmyn Rollins (Missouri) and Gatorade Player of the Year Megan Feraimo (UCLA). The game is played in front of a standing room only crowd and broadcast on ESPNU. It is one of OnDeck Softball’s most proud moments.
This fall, OnDeck chose to streamline its events and add something new in response to the college coaches’ needs, Organizational Testing and Evaluations (OTE). The first weekend of the year unveiled the SoCal OTE. TCS and Travis Cotsenmoyer partnered with us in this endeavor, and it proved to be a major achievement in softball’s new calendar. The NorCal OTE took place the 3rd weekend and drew coaches from most of the Pac 12, the Mountain West, the Big Sky, the WCC, the Big West, and several others. We anticipate adding more OTEs in other areas to our future schedules.
In the fourth week of the six week recruiting period, the West Coast Elite Camp continued its run of being the premier camp of its kind. The West Coast Elite Camp has a storied history and has featured some of the greatest names in softball – Dallas Escobedo, Katelyn Boyd, Ashley Hansen, just to name a few. Added to that weekend was the first OnDeck Jr/Sr Camp. This new camp proved to be a very successful attempt to get those “older” players in the Junior and Senior classes who had slipped thru the cracks on the radar of both OnDeck Softball and schools across the country.
A week later, the OnDeck Fall events concluded with the long-running Arizona Jamboree that featured some of the top players in the 2023 and 2024 classes. The second year of the Midwest Elite Camp showed huge strides and will be a mainstay in years to come. The level of play was exceedingly high, the coaching turnout matched that talent and the future is bright for the Midwest Elite Camp.
As we look toward 2019, we anticipate to be as good or better than 2018. The first tryouts of 2019 begin in January and we look forward to meeting new players and families and seeing the progression of players from last year. We are making a venue change to the June 7th Jamboree from Hemet to Rosetta Canyon. The summer Jamboree schedule will also include a move into southeast, adding the Florida Jamboree on June 25th and back to Texas for an OTE in the fall.
The Next Recruit, a subsidiary of OnDeck, will be launched this year and will help find schools for juniors and seniors who need assistance with the recruiting process. ODM® continues to explode across the country and is testing more players and teams than ever before.
Thank you to everyone for your support of OnDeck in 2018 and making it a truly memorable year. And finally we wish all of you a great Holiday Season and a wonderful New Year.