LAS VEGAS – Day three of the 2017 NFCA Convention is in the books as four new members entered the prestigious Hall of Fame. Additionally, speakers filled the day and the Softball Summit presented by USA Softball introduced the membership to softball dignitaries, recognized two members for their selflessness and perseverance and announced the grand prize winner of the ONE DRIVE.
In the signature event, Sheilah Gulas, OC Batbusters’ Gary Haning, Carson-Newman’s Vickee Kazee-Hollifield and UConn’s Karen Mullins were enshrined into the NFCA Hall of Fame. The Association also announced its class of 2018 of Salisbury’s Margie Knight, North Davidson High School’s Mike Lambros (posthumously) and Tennessee’s Karen Weekly.
Following the banquet, attendees had the opportunity to attend Legacy Event Management’s After Party at Beer Park on Paris’ rooftop.
For the second straight day, Jen Williams of MIT led a “Slots” of Fun workout circuit, while other attendees had the opportunity to stretch and relax in a yoga session. At the conclusion of JT Gasso’s (Oklahoma) Technology’s Role in Building Elite Hitters” presented by Diamond Kinetics presentation, Dabecka Kirk of La Monte High School, Villa Grove Elite’s Floyd Fisher and Mount San Antonio College head coach Ruby Rojas were announced as the 2017 winners of the inaugural Diamond Kinetics/NFCA Technology Scholarship.
The Summit kicked off with past president Rhonda Revelle and executive director Carol Bruggeman drawing the ONE DRIVE winner. This year's recipient was Denison head coach Tiffany Ozbun. She has the opportunity to select from several great prizes, including two Women's College World Series ticket, a lifetime NFCA membership and an all-expenses paid trip to the 2018 Convention in Chicago. Softball dignitaries USA Softball Executive Director Craig Cress, USA Baseball assistant coach Jenny Dalton-Hill and NPF commissioner Cheri Kempf provided overviews for the those in attendance, while Meg Aronowitz, coordinating producer at ESPN and SEC Network, showed the growth of softball on national television. Additionally, NCAA Secretary-Rules Editor Vickie Van Kleeck went over the newly implemented rules for 2018, while new Coordinator of Umpires Craig Hyde discussed umpire education and went over a few rules as well.
The Summit capped off with the recognition of NFCA Humanitarian Award winner Mark Larriba of Flower Mound High School and Donna Newberry “Perseverance” Award recipient, Indianapolis head coach Melissa Frost.
The sold-out exhibit show closed on Friday with the annual silent auction, where attendees bid on donated exhibitor products and take them home for a fraction of the cost.
The day also featured seven featured speakers along with four panels featuring a variety of coaches from emeriti to 2017 national champions as well as USSSA Pride players.
The convention concludes on Saturday with Drills, Drills, Drills, the Champions Brunch, Chalk Talks and two speakers- UMSL’s Lauren Lappin and Mike Stith of STC and OC Batbusters.