This month has become a memorable one for the Oklahoma Royals Softball program. Coming into existence last year, then a year later the team is bringing home a national title.
The Oklahoma Royals team went to Branson, Missouri to play in the 2019 USSSA National Championship and went 7-1 on the weekend, including winning their final three games for the title.The team scored 57 runs and only allowed five runs the entire weekend.
They are coached by Julio Alvarez and he said it has been a long year, but he was proud of the way the team performed.
“Our girls worked really hard. We started back in January with a strength and agility program and worked on some fundamental skills and those paid off in the long road,” Alvarez said. “Our hitting came alive and our defense worked really hard and made some really good plays. Just a lot of good fundamentals that the girls finally put all together and they played some of the best defense they have ever played.”
After starting the organization a year ago, Alvarez said the goal was to bring the girls together and teach the fundamentals of the sport for a new generation of Duncan Softball.
Alvarez said he started to notice a dip in the middle school level of athletes who wanted to play softball and he knows that several of these girls will head into the fall competing for Duncan Middle School.
“The goal is to be able to provide some more skills and talented players for junior high and high school ball,” Alvarez said. “We are starting to see some setbacks right now of not having a big softball following in Duncan. There will be a handful of sixth graders and three of those girls are coming out of the Royals organization to play middle school. All three of them are super talented and work hard. They are all three good candidates for the pitching staff for the junior high for the upcoming year.”
Alvarez said that the Royals team will be moving up to the 12U competition this next year and is hoping the next crop of softball girls will learn lessons from this team.
“The goal for our organization is to develop younger players to whatever it is they want to be. I tell my girls all the time softball isn’t life, but you can learn a lot of life skills from softball and sports in general,” Alvarez said. “We preach attitude and effort all the time to them. That is one thing that we can’t fix as coaches is your attitude and your effort. The big thing is, we want to promote a good environment for the girls to learn and develop their ability to play at a higher level.”
The tryouts for the Royals will be for all ages with times varying this Sunday at Hines Park starting at 1 p.m. and lasting until around 6 p.m. that evening.