Local players to compete in Europe

Published 11:54 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Staff Writer

The North American Prospects selected two are players to be part of the 2011 USA Softball vs. Europe Tournament in Paris and Amsterdam this summer.
Morgan Boyd from Terra Ceia Christian School and Chris Morris from Southside High School were selected to play in Amsterdam.
The team will represent the United States in the Dutch Tournament in Paris and Amsterdam. The tournament is scheduled for July 19-27.
The girls were all smiles and full of laughter at being selected to play for a team that few are chosen for and for getting the opportunity to play in Europe. Not only is each player selected for specific roles on the team, she is selected for her dedication, drive and love of the game.
Morris was invited by her coach to play on the team as a catcher and outfielder.
“I guest-played with the travel softball team last summer,” Boyd said. “And coach (Curt) Hinton asked me to come to Europe with the team.”
The team will take on teams from Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy. There are two teams from the United States that will compete in the tournament. One team is from North Carolina, and the other team is compiled from other players from across the nation.
Last year, there were players from East Coast states and as far away as Arizona on the team.
Hinton observed the talent of the last year’s U.S. team, causing him to want a second U.S. team to enter the tournament. So, he contacted those in charge and asked them if they would consider it. They did, and he put together a team from North Carolina.
Morris, who was home-schooled for several years, recently transferred to Southside High School for her senior year, has just started playing. She hopes to be a walk-on at Western Carolina University.
Boyd is a sophomore at Terra Ceia Christian School.
The North Carolina team includes players from Goldsboro, Greenville, the Raleigh area and central North Carolina.
“In order for them to keep their amateur status, things like this can’t be given to them,” Jerry Boyd, Morgan Boyd’s father, said. “Which is why we have been having fundraisers for the players — because they have to pay for everything themselves.
“If you want to play in college, you can’t receive any money to play, or else you lose your amateur status.”
Each team member is responsible for coming up with $4,000, which covers all expenses for the trip such as round-trip airfare, uniforms, meals and tours. So, the team is having fundraisers.
According to Boyd, a golf tournament is set for April and a car wash is slated for May to help raise funds for the trip.
According to Michael Hughes, executive director of North American Prospects, the team has two of the best coaches in the United States, Rone Robinson with the University of Texas at Dallas and Whitney Platton of Cherry Creek.
“We are working diligently with coaches from across America to gather recommendations identifying quality individuals to represent the USA as both players and ambassadors on this 15-man roster,” Hughes said.
He said the North American Prospects’ Team USA has been traveling to Europe every summer since 1996.
“It’s a rare opportunity for players to showcase their skills on an international level,” he said, “as well as meet other players from other countries and to take group tours and see once-in-a-lifetime sights.”
The players will visit the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysee and more.
The travel team Morris and Boyd play for, the Carolina Dirt Devils, play up and down the Eastern Seaboard in competitions and tournaments.
“The tournaments are designed where college scouts come to see them play,” Jerry Boyd said. “I’m not sure if there will be any (college) scouts overseas in this tournament, though.”