By Tim Chambers
Former Lady Longhorn Brianna Snyder has always been one about wanting to give back the talents that landed her a college education and scholarship. She is now doing that through coaching a travel softball team that is faith-based, called the Tri-Cities Mavericks. The entire team is made up of girls that are 14 years old and under from Johnson County. Snyder is being assisted by former Longhorn players Eden Fenner and Lindsey Wills.
Snyder praised the efforts of middle school coach Haley Miller and high school skipper Greg Reece who has been a big help to her in getting the team started.
”I realized how much that playing travel ball helped me when I got in high mschool and at the college level,” said Snyder, but it was expensive. “I had to go to Johnson City twice a week, which is a good way from here, so I wanted to do something to help our kids have that same opportunity and for them to be able to play against better competition.”
Currently, the team has been practicing at the schoolhouse commons at Neva. Tim Cox and Firsty’s has been letting them practice in the gym until yesterday when they were able to use Ralph Stout Park when it reopened to the public. Snyder and her team took advantage of the opportunity and used the facility for two hours to iron out some wrinkles.
“I don’t think you have to go out of the area to get quality players,” said Snyder. “I believe that we have them right here at home if we act on that belief and give them the right opportunity. It’s all about putting them in the right situation.”
Snyder added that the team has prayer and devotions before every game, on something that her squad strongly relies upon.
“We want the people here to be proud of our kids,” said Snyder. “Johnson County did a lot for me, and I want to give back some of the things that I learned that might help a few players have the chance to play high school or college softball.”
The team will play all their games around the Tri-Cities area, and they had their first scrimmage game on Saturday.
“I believe in our kids up here,” added Snyder. “I have a love for them, and Johnson County is where my heart is.”
Snyder graduated from Milligan College with a degree in political science. She is currently helping Pastor Tim Cox and his daughter Hailey in their business Firstys, which will be featured in the upcoming weeks of the Tomahawk.