Newly-created Lewis County Arrows Fastpitch is holding youth softball tryouts on July 20 and 21 at Recreation Park in Chehalis.
Lewis County Arrows was formed in April by Napavine resident Travis Kephart in April 2021. He hopes to have enough players at tryouts to form three teams, all based on the year the players were born.
“Instead of having a 50/50 split between 10U and 12U, we’ll have a 2010 team, 2011 team and a 2012 team,” Kephart said. “So you’re not splitting every year and they’re staying with their age group.”
There are only 10U and 12U tournaments; no 11U. So the Arrows plan to have a 12U team and then a 10U team split into a B team and a C team.
The 12U team will be made up of players who were born in 2010. The two 10U teams will be players who were born in 2011 and 2012.
Kephart, whose daughter plays for the Arrows’ 10U team, decided to start the Arrows due to the lack of youth fastpitch teams in Lewis County. Most softball players in the county between the ages of 10 and 12 have to travel either north to Olympia or south to Longview to join a summer and fall travel team.
“There’s just not much opportunity for the county kids to play unless they want to travel up north to Olympia or farther,” Kephart said. “My goal is to have these kids in our area, district 4, playing together and growing up. They’re going to see each other in high school and get the rivalry going.”
The Arrows currently have a 10U team that has played in two tournaments, one on June 12 and one on June 27. The Arrows placed second out of seven teams in the June 27 tournament after having just eight team practices. None of the kids had played tournament ball before this year, only rec ball.
“Pretty encouraging to see the progress,” Kephart said.
He hopes to see a large turnout at tryouts, from both first-time players and kids who play rec-league for their school but don’t yet have a summer and fall travel team.
“There are probably a lot of kids this summer who are going to be sitting on the couch doing nothing,” Kephart said. “If we get this going, it will give them an opportunity to come tryout and learn some fundamentals of fastpitch.
“There’s a lot of turnout in the rec program, but when you get to 10U it starts to get more competitive. Playing summer ball and fall ball will just make them better for rec the following year.”
For more information or special accommodations, contact Travis Kephart by email: email@example.com or phone: 360-869-3305.