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Sherwood Fireballs

2022/2023 Tournament Team Coaches

Meet Our Coaches

We are here to provide you and your family with the best youth softball experience possible! We are proud to bring you a group of highly accomplished coaches.

Jason Toppen

10U B
2nd Year
 team

 Coaching philosophy:

  • Mastering the fundamentals
  • Allowing the girls to try multiple positions
  • Learning and putting into play knowledge of the game
  • Being aggressive while having a good attitude at practices and games
  • Respect of coaches, teammates, umpires, opponents and parents
  • Playing time is earned with effort, not always equal but close
  • 3 key drivers:
    • Attitude
    • Hustle / Effort
    • Communication
  • Have Fun!
Fireballs Toppen 10U B will be taking advantage of the local diversity and opportunities by playing NAFA 2022 Fall Ball then transitioning into competitive Spring/Summer softball. We will be looking for travel opportunities during the season where available. 10U is a development year and we’re excited to move the balance point to a more competitive stance as the season progresses and be able to compete with established B level teams.
Brandon Parmelee

12U
1st Year team

About Brandon: Info coming soon...

Lee Sitton

12U B
2nd Year Team

About Lee:  Coach Lee Sitton is entering his 3rd year as a Fireballs coach.  His team will be moving up from 12u C to 12u B in the coming year.  His goals are to create an environment where girls can have fun, interact with their peers in positive environment, learn about teamwork, leadership and community, all while developing their competitive softball skills.  Fall ball will consist of 3-4 tournaments in the month of October.  Spring ball will consist of 8-10 tournaments in NAFA and USA Softball, including at least 2 overnight travel tournaments in the region, as well as multiple local scrimmages with teams sharing the same values.

Lee has coached various sports at the college, high school and community level.  He loves giving back to the youth and community, and strives to promote a positive team environment.  He is looking to fill 2-3 spots at various positions including pitchers and athletes.  
Shaun Fagan

12U A/B
2nd Year team

Bio: I was born and raised in Portland where I began playing baseball as a kid and fell in love. Youth sports, and baseball in particular, were such an integral part of shaping who I am today. The lessons you learn - how to succeed, overcome failure and adversity, hard work and dedication, working together as a team, supporting your teammates – are fundamental to the person you become. I was fortunate enough to play baseball at Oregon State for a few years until an injury and a talent gap caught up with me. Today I am thrilled to have the opportunity to pass on the knowledge, lessons and experiences that I gained with a great group of young ladies.

Coaching Experience: I began coaching high school baseball at Wilson High School, where I coached pitchers, hitters and outfielders for 10 years, including a state championship. I stepped away for several years when my daughter was born, but got back into youth coaching when she was old enough to begin playing and have loved every minute of it. I have been coaching youth softball and baseball for a combined 8 seasons and will begin my fourth season coaching this core group of lady Fireballs. While I enjoy passing on my knowledge of the game, watching the ladies grow and learning to compete is what continues to fuel me!

Coaching Philosophy: We have 4 areas we focus on with the girls: learning the game, growing their skills, developing team camaraderie while having a ton of fun in the process. The girls will learn about the fundamentals, techniques, and situational decisions to improve as softball players. From there we will continually build on that base through drills and game-like situations to hone their skills, build muscle memory to confidently execute in games. We continuously foster a team-first culture where the girls will play with each other, for each other, and are there for each other in celebration and support. Throughout it all we will have fun playing, improving, rooting for one another, and becoming a family on and off the field. Together we will win with grace, lose with our heads held high while creating lasting memories and lifelong friendships.

2022-2023 Season Information

Jake Bryant

14U
1st Year team

About Jake:  This will be my 5th year coaching this team for Sherwood Fireballs.  I have over 15 years of coaching experience in softball and basketball at higher levels plus learning and training from top High school and tournament coaches.  My experience with competitive sports includes my former collegiate basketball career.

Coach Stats:
Record for last 3 years is: 116-42-6  (70% winning percentage)

2020: 10B Nafa Nationals champions ( No state that year due to covid)  Ranked # 1 team in the Northwest.

2021: 12B first year team Winner of 3 Gold Bracket championships. (USSSA, Nafa)  Made Gold bracket in every tournament played.  

2022: 12U Winner of 4 Tournaments in a row and 18 game win streak. Took 3rd place at the Reno Nationals Youth National championship.  

Ideas on Softball:   As a coach, my staff and I will put your players in positions for them to excel Physically and Mentally at the game of Softball.  Players are expected to put in additional time to develop at all facets of the game.  I believe you play the way you practice and good habits will happen when you stay engaged.  Softball is also fun and is not treated as a Job, there is a Family dynamic to each to team and as coaches we will do our best to help build that sense of Family for the team.

Jason Ashley

14U
2nd Year team

About Jason: Coach Jason Ashley has 10+ years of experience coaching youth sports, this will be his 3rd season coaching a tournament level team. He loves to give back to his community through volunteerism and spends countless hours supporting youth organizations. When he’s not coaching, he’s cheering on his 4 children in all of their many activities.

Coach Jason is highly motivated to build a team environment focused on hard work, player development and a team first mentality. His goals for the season are to…

  • Develop Player Leadership Skills & Resiliency
  • Increase Softball IQ & Passion
  • Build Upon Current Strengths & Talents
  • Establish a Culture of Hard Work & Success
  • Foster Teamwork & Fun

Season Outlook
This fall the team plans to play in one NAFA tournament along with NAFA Sunday doubleheaders. Spring ball will consist of 8-9 tournaments in NAFA and USA Softball, including at least 2 overnight travel tournaments within the region. The team will also be looking for opportunities to scrimmage with other local programs.


Mike Whisenhunt

16U A
1st Year team

Coaching Experience: 9 years coaching Fastpitch Softball and 6 years coaching club ball

Coaching Accolades: 2021 Northwest Coach of Year and 2022 Elected as Coach of Coaches for Sherwood Fastpitch Organization

Coaching Philosophy: My journey into club ball began with a simple thought: Can I create and foster success with positive reinforcement and confidence building as the cornerstones?  Over these last 6 years I have been able to prove the answer is yes.  We create this capability with very structured practices, customized approach for player needs, bringing college players/coaches into the fold, and many opportunities for advancement within the team.  This past season we developed a vision of player driven success allowing our players to challenge their softball IQ while building confidence when trusting their instincts between the lines.  I enjoy seeing this group take those skills to places like Reno, Riverside (CA), Santa Cruz, Tri Cities, and other locations across the west to prove that our program can succeed on every stage. 

During our two years in 14U, the staff helped girls get focused with their recruiting goals as well.  We have held workouts, in person experiences, zoom calls, and interviews with college coaches/players from University of Oregon, Pacific University, North Texas, Hawaii, Linfield, and Nebraska.  The coaches and I also have set up pages for our players bios, statistics, videos, and other information important for the recruiting process.  This 16U campaign we will continue to put those experiences in front of players as well as add additional resources and assistance for them to help achieve their goals.

Players we are looking for: We treat character and skill in equal weights.  We are built around sharing success and adversity, so high-level character is key to the teams progress on the field.  Part of a player’s character we look for is their devotion to work outside of practice to help push the best version of themselves.  We are big supporters of dual sport athletes as well and we provide those athletes with at home work outs so they can continue their progress as time allows during their Fall and Winter sport seasons.  The player must come in with a team first attitude.  Each player that joins this team will be challenged with playing multiple positions for the team.  We do this so each player gains knowledge and capability to be placed on the field with confidence.  Lastly, each player on this team must be coachable.  Our philosophy relies on players who see equal value when sacrificing as they do with individual success.  That key attribute has been the difference between winning and losing games in every season of coaching, so it must be front of mind when hitting the field for this team.

2023 Forecast: We are looking to play a competitive schedule at either A or Open level for the entire Fall and Spring/Summer season.  Including Fall Ball, we are looking at 10+ tournaments total including big stage events thru USA Softball, Triple Crown, USSSA, and PGF.  We believe with the right amount of talent and commitment these tournaments will bring successes for everyone involved, while providing positive memories for all associated with the team.

Jen Harsch

16U A
2nd Year team

About Team Harsch: Coach Jen Harsch has over 25 years’ experience and has coached at the rec level, travel ball level, high school and college level.  Jen is a 3-time state champion coach as well as was named coach of the year in Washington.  The assistant coaches both bring a long history of coaching with them at both the rec and travel ball level and have both head coached their own teams previously.  Our team has exceptional organization and pride ourselves on the communication between coaches and parents. 

* This season we will be playing at the 16A level and playing a high-level combination of USA, USSSA, PGF, and Triple Crown events.  We offer low team fees and will be having several great fundraisers to help with team costs. 

This season we will offer pitching coaching as well as team hitting lessons.  The team is bringing back a great core group of players with wonderful families.  We are looking to fill several positions and are excited for a great fall season.

For fall we will practice two days a week Tuesday/Thursday at Sherwood Middle School.  Winter will be two team practices a week, Thursday and Sunday and a third day for pitchers and catchers, usually on Wednesday.  All practices will take place in Sherwood at the Fireballs indoor facilities.  We will take the high school season off from competitive play but will practice one day a week (Sunday) as team member’s schedules allow.  Throughout the season we will have opportunities for team bonding and fun scrimmage and Fireball events.  We are looking forward to a great positive season with lots of energy, learning, and fun!

Contact

Sherwood Fireballs
P.O. Box 133 
Sherwood, Oregon 97140

Email: [email protected]

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