POWHATAN - With local softball under way, the Powhatan Youth Athletics Association’s Ponytails are looking to achieve a few more major goals this summer.
A couple of those are playing in – and winning – the Dixie Softball World Series.
Saturday’s corn hole tournament, held at the Moose Lodge in Powhatan, raised funds for the PYAA Ponytails’ All-Stars – coached by Nathan Miller, Alex Narbut and head coach Stony Gillespie – to go and play in the six-day, double-elimination 12u tournament down in Oxford, Alabama. Series play begins July 31.
Normally teams would have to win their respective state tournaments to advance to the Series, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are many teams that won’t be participating at all, opening up the opportunity for those that are participating, including Powhatan, to attend.
But the state tournament is also still happening. It’s slated to begin July 17, with the location still to be determined, and the Ponytails’ All-Stars will be competing for the Virginia trophy.
“I think we have a good chance of winning state this year – we’ve got a good group of girls,” Gillespie said.
Right now Powhatan’s teams are still playing regular recreational softball, and they’ve been able to play opponents from neighboring counties including Goochland and Amelia.
“It’s nice to get out there; we went from playing nothing, now to a bunch of games, which is a good thing, to have the girls out there, having a good time . . . that’s the biggest thing,” Gillespie said. “We’re trying to do our social distancing as much as we can, but we’re outside; we’re not inside.”
Some of the changes with social distancing include not having the girls clap hands at the end of games – what they’re doing now to still show sportsmanship is bump elbows instead, Gillespie said. The teams are also still doing their respective cheers, but right now, they’re doing so without huddling together like they normally would.
The PYAA continues to raise funds for the trip to Alabama. The program and its supporters are looking to include sponsors, as well as put together a banner with all the sponsors for the team.
The 2020 Ponytails have a GoFundMe page (2020 Ponytails Allstars World Series; https://www.gofundme.com/f/2020-ponytails-allstars-world-series?sharetype=teams&member=4836280&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&pc_code=ot_co_dashboard_a&rcid=55847da38c824caeba55c2cab22a0cbd). Anyone who is looking to learn more and/or make a donation can email Gillespie at firstname.lastname@example.org.