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Dear NFCA, NCAA: A 14-Year-Old’s Thank You Letter

2018-04-25T21:42:44+00:00 April 25th, 2018|, |0 Comments
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Dear NFCA members and the NCAA,

Thank you for passing the new legislation for recruiting!

As a late bloomer, (that’s what the doctor says) I’ve always been the small one on my softball teams. I was given the nickname “Munchkin” and it stuck.  As a munchkin, I’ve always been judged on my size and not my skill. When it was time to move up an age group my parents were asked to keep me down in the fall when everyone was moving up to the next level. What I never understood was why?

 

Being small, I’ve always felt I had to work harder to get noticed. With a .550 batting average and .750 OBP, it always seemed like not enough because a “bigger girl” hit a home run. I was low to the ground and could field a ground ball just as well as those my age and I had a knack for running down fly balls. I took this challenge life handed me and made sure I fielded an extra ground ball, chased down an extra fly ball and took extra rounds of batting practice. How often do you see someone that’s smaller than 5-foot-2 verbal before her junior year? Probably, very rare.  

With this new rule I feel like I have a chance. I feel the opportunities for me to achieve my goal to play softball in college have increased. I felt a weight lift off of me when I heard about the ruling. Hearing about seventh and eighth grade girls verbal can be a bit discouraging. Now, I know I will have those extra couple of years to grow and show that I’m just as amazing, if not better, than some girls around me who hit their max height in seventh grade. I’m excited I get the opportunity to grow and then get recruited at the same time as other players my age.

 

This ruling gives me an opportunity to not be as stressed. I can focus on school because I don’t have to take

Ally Riches is currently a freshman in high school and plays for the 14u SoCal Mavericks

trips as a freshman or sophomore in the middle of school year to go look at colleges. I get to spend time with my friends and I won’t miss out on school functions or activities because of a showcase every weekend.

The most important thing of all is that I get to have fun playing the sport that I love and have a passion for. I get to enjoy each moment while working hard at the same time to steadily progress as a person and a player on the field.

Giving many thanks to the NFCA and NCAA for the new recruiting requirements. The ruling, not only helps girls that were overlooked at a young age but it now allows girls to be seen at the same point in life. The future holds many opportunities for me and these requirements give the smaller side to the age group a chance to even out the playing field as we all stride for the goal of a college scholarship.

Sincerely,
Allyson “Ally” Riches
Class of 2021

 

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