Four Daily Chronicle All-Area softball players from Sycamore’s state championship team are on the Storm’s 18U squad. Nine players on the team have played at least six years with the organization, Varga said.
“It goes back to six years ago when they started,” Varga said. They’ve developed each year [to] where it showed this year at the high school level, with them ending up winning the state championship. The starting [Sycamore] lineup had seven either current or former Storm players at one time.”
Criswell, Cassie Bade, Wagner, Teddi Hacaga and Faith Roush all return to play in the summer despite having graduated from high school over a year ago. Bade, a Genoa-Kingston grad, played this past year at William Penn University in Iowa. Roush, a Rochelle grad, played at Kishwaukee College. Players from the Class of 2019 set to play collegiately include Faith Reynolds of Sycamore (Rock Valley College), Gracyn Gabriel of Sycamore (Waubonsee Community College), Grace Schmidt of Sandwich (Trinity International University) and Ashley Peterson of Genoa-Kingston (Wisconsin-Whitewater).
“Eighteen’s a tough age bracket to coach because it’s such a transition year for these young ladies, whether they want to go and play [at] the next level,” Varga said. “Some do, some are undecided, and some aren’t going to, and that’s OK. They’ve bonded well together over the years.”
Other area clubs with a healthy number of local talent include the Northern Illinois Thunder and Sycamore Sycos. Players who attend local schools such as DeKalb, Kaneland, Indian Creek and Hiawatha are on the 16U Storm team.