Travel softball group provides outlet for area teens

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 21, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The L.A. Thunder, or Lower Alabama Thunder, is a team that provides softball players from area schools an outlet for competitive play and skill work while out of school for the summer.

Though based in Demopolis, the group consists of players from a myriad of schools in the region. Players come from programs at Demopolis High School, Linden High School, Jackson High School, Butler High School and preparatory academies like Marengo, Patrician and Jackson to name a few.

The group is coached by a local, who graduated from DHS in 2005 and has experience in high levels of softball play. Brittany McGee, the group&8217;s coach and a softball player for the University of West Alabama, said she took the position for several reasons.

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McGee said she plays on the college level and has looked at coaching softball in the future as an option after her playing career in over. This prompted her to accept the position as a way to see how she liked being in charge of a group of competitive players.

The group itself, which consists of players largely used to facing one another from opposite dugouts, has come together and faced competition already this summer. The 18 and under team, made of girls 16- to 18-years-old, has played several teams in American Legion-style, tournament play.

Reaching the finals and winning, like the group did at the Tuscaloosa Tag tournament called the &8216;T-Town Showdown,&8217; has already qualified the group for the state tournament and the World Series, both of which will be held in Birmingham in July. Aside from giving players a chance to compete with groups from other regions and retain their skills over the school break, McGee said there are other perks for players playing with the group: