Things are getting underway for the Virginia Ruthless 10U softball team, which held tryouts on Aug. 8, along with the team’s first clinic with three-time Olympic medalist Crystl Bustos.
The Ruthless travel team, the first such program in Virginia, is open not just to Louisa County but to players around the state.
Coach Megan Jones and her husband Christopher have been attempting to get sponsors for the team in hopes of reducing the cost to parents to have their child participate. Megan says that nterest in the team, both from potential players and sponsors, has been slow since the team was first announced in April, but the group of girls that came to tryouts showed that the interest was there.
“Today has been the most poistive for us,” she said. “It’s made me more hopeful. We can see the progress we’re making.
“I hope word spreads,” she continued. “I hope people hear about us and see what we’re about.”
Giovanni Ortiz, whose daughter was among those who came to tryouts, said he is excited for the team, and was especially excited to have Bustos there.
“You can’t put a price tag on her experience,” he said. “She can get down to their level. My daughter was probably the youngest girl out there, but she took to it really well.”
Bustos makes visits to the more than 30 Ruthless teams around the country several times a year, hosting clinics to teach skills to the players. She said that things went well and that she was excited about the group that came out.
“There’s talent there,” she said. “We had a lot of young ladies that have some promise and I think we can build a good 10U travel team out of it.”
Ruthless has been forming teams across the country since 2015 and has teams in 11 states. Bustos said there have been a lot of coaches and states that have reached out about forming a team, but she says it’s “got to be the right fit.”
“We’re looking for organizations that want to grow and coaches that are willing to keep learning and growing,” she said. “So far, the parents have been good and the players have been really receptive. It’s a good area. I really like it.”
In addition to working with the players for the team, Bustos hosted clinics for older players, teaching them in two sessions – one for girls between ages 11 and 13 and one for girls between ages 14 and 18, both of which had good turnout.
“It was a great time,” Jones said. “I think everyone enjoyed themselves, both the parents and athletes. They got a lot of knowledge from Crystl – small details, facts that maybe they never knew and an experience that they will never forget.”
Anyone who is interested in becoming a sponsor for the team or learning more about Ruthless can contact Jones at (540)-603-6956 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.