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.