Fast pitch coming to Union City

It was a unique path to take, but Union City Public Schools has added fast-pitch softball to its regimen.

With a unanimous to none by the school board Monday, the girls will now have the opportunity to get on the softball diamond in the fall.

“The board voted on it 5-0 and the community, as far as I know, the community was good with it. Because I didn’t have any phone calls or any visitors at the school board meeting,” said superintendent Todd Carel.

For the last eight years, the school has offered girls the opportunity to get on the field for slow-pitch softball in the spring but has never had a fast pitch team.

Last fall, the school decided to test out how much interest there would be for fast pitch while fielding a junior high team for a shortened season, and the numbers were in favor of starting the new program.

“We actually played junior high fast pitch and junior high volleyball at the same time to experiment with fast pitch. Then this year I met with all of the coaches and talked to the school board, and basically the administration, board of education, all of my coaches and my athletic director, we all agreed that fast pitch would be the direction we wanted to go in the future,” Carel said.

Daniel Anderson coached the slow pitch team for the first four years of its existence while Cody Schmidt has been the coach the last four years.

Anderson is also the head coach of the girls basketball team and the volleyball team.

But the decision for the new sport means that the Lady Tigers will have to rid of one sport, and that sport happens to be volleyball.

“We are getting rid of volleyball and keeping everything else. So, basically in the fall the girls at the junior high and high school level will be playing softball instead of volleyball,” Carel said. “We don’t feel like we were big enough to be competitive and able to develop our players while doing both at the same time, and with the facilities we have now we just felt like fast pitch was the way to go.”

Anderson will now be able to coach the Union City basketball teams from the elementary level up to the high school level, which is what Schmidt will do for the softball program.

“He is going to coach elementary basketball. His first love is basketball. So, that is going to give him the chance to get down there in the lower grades, develop those kids and build his program,” Carel said.

Union City hopes to have a full schedule in its first season starting next August.

“Looks like we have some kids that want to transfer in because they heard that we have fast pitch, and we hope they play basketball too,” Carel said.

2 Comments

  1. Tiger Mom on April 11, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    I am a volleyball parent, and I was not informed of the decision to get rid of volleyball until it had already been decided. But with the unanimous vote, it doesnt seem like my voice at the meeting would have made much difference. Still, it was unsettling to find out so abruptly without any warning. Many of the volleyball girls were extremely heart-broken. My child came home from school in tears and absolutely inconsolable. She was devastated. She LOVES volleyball; it was the thing that finally gave her a direction in life, and she was beginning to plan for the future. She is now lost, and scared of an uncertain future. While I understand promoting fast-pitch, and I am all for it, I am still disappointed that my child and her teammates will no longer be able to participate in the sport that they love anymore. I am currently trying to get her onto a volleyball team that isn’t tied to a school, but they have tryouts and limited space, and as such her acceptance isn’t guaranteed. So while hopeful, we are also extremely anxious. The decision for the school to get rid of volleyball has been difficult on my child and my family.

    • Todd Carel on April 12, 2019 at 2:25 pm

      All of the female athletes were told about this possible decision the week after Spring Break and the board meeting was not until April 8th. The board agenda was posted indicating it was coming to a vote on April 4th. I’m sorry that you were not informed but again all the girls were told several days before this was voted on at a public board meeting. I don’t feel like anything was abrupt and you had no warning. Why didn’t you call the school? Why didn’t you come to the board meeting? When your child told you I would think you would have called or come to the school if you wanted your voice to be heard. She’s scared of an uncertain future? Well what is certain is that Union City will not have volleyball next year and we will have fast pitch softball. Finally, why post this instead of talking to the school?
      This was not an easy decision, but the school board, all of the coaches, and the administration felt like it was the best thing for the future of our school.

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