Whitecaps softball 2023 team preview: Building a winning tradition at Galveston College
The 2022-2023 Galveston College Whitecaps softball team will look to compete for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Region 14 South Conference crown, make a trip to the regional softball tournament this season and earn a berth in the national championship.
The Whitecaps return six sophomores from last year’s team, while three transfer players and 16 freshmen enter the program this season. Galveston College’s diverse roster consists of players from California, Colorado, New Mexico, Australia and Texas.
“This is a very talented group of players,” said Galveston College Athletics Director and Softball Head Coach, Kelly Raines. “These ladies are looking to improve on last season’s record. We have spent a significant amount of time recruiting this year and have signed knowledgeable student athletes that know how to play the game the right way. We look forward to working with these ladies this season.”
Expectations are set high for this group as students first, and then as athletes. The program’s academic goal is to attain a 3.3 grade-point-average as a team this spring and reach the 2023 NJCAA National Tournament.
“Our returning sophomores were loyal to the program last year and treated the coaching staff with respect and represented the college the right way,” said Raines. “They understand that the name on the front of their jersey is very important. They worked hard on and off the field and were willing to do whatever was necessary to make the team successful. We believe this group of sophomores will be excellent leaders and show our freshman and transfer players the kind of work ethic it takes to be successful at the college level.”
Last season, the Whitecaps finished with a 19-24 overall record and a 10-14 conference mark. Galveston College’s coaching staff looks to improve upon the previous season and worked hard in the offseason on improving the pitching staff and the team’s power for 2023 season. To get ready for the upcoming season, the Whitecaps competed in 10 double-header scrimmages during the fall.
“We had a great fall season and look to improve on our fall performance this spring,” said Raines. “We look forward to seeing our freshman, sophomores and transfers in game action. Our team is filled with determined, hard-working athletes who are going to play hard and leave everything on the field each practice and at every game.”
Raines, who has a wealth of softball knowledge and a winning tradition, built a powerhouse program at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas, and intends to do the same at Galveston College. An exceptional recruiter and player developer, she knows how to get the best out of her players.
Helping Raines build the Whitecaps this season is Assistant Coach Rome McNary, who comes from Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas. He plans to help Raines bring back the winning tradition that the Galveston College softball program had in the past under former Whitecaps Head Coach, Ken Delcambre.
The Whitecaps softball team will compete in 52 games during the 2023 spring season, beginning Jan. 27, and aspire to qualify to the regional tournament to be played May 12-15 in Bossier City, Louisiana, and earn a berth in the national championship, to be played May 23-27 in Oxford, Alabama.
Galveston College will open the 2023 softball season at home at the Island Invitational Tournament against Lake Land College at 10 a.m. on Jan. 27 at the Lassie League Complex, located at 2506 83rd St. in Galveston. The Whitecaps will face Navarro College at 5:30 p.m. and conclude the eight-team, round-robin format competition on Jan. 28 against Howard College at 10 a.m. and Pearl River Community College at 3 p.m.
For more information about the Galveston College Whitecaps softball program and season schedule, visit https://www.gcwhitecaps.com/landing/index.
ABOUT GALVESTON COLLEGE
Galveston College was founded in 1967 and is a comprehensive community college providing the residents of Galveston Island and the surrounding region with academic, workforce development, continuing education and community service programs.