Friday, April 18, 2014

Adrenaline kept pumping wins through tournament, coach says

By CLINTON DICK, Herald Staff Writer | 7/31/2013

Fun is what Ken Frank and his Franklin County Adrenaline 14 and younger girls fast pitch team are all about. Frank, Ottawa, is the head coach for the recently formed team that won second place at the Heartland World Series last weekend in Olathe.

“I was really proud of the girls,” Frank said. “It was a great day, and we had a lot of fun.”

Fun is what Ken Frank and his Franklin County Adrenaline 14 and younger girls fast pitch team are all about. Frank, Ottawa, is the head coach for the recently formed team that won second place at the Heartland World Series last weekend in Olathe.

“I was really proud of the girls,” Frank said. “It was a great day, and we had a lot of fun.”

The Franklin County team lost in the championship game 9-5 against the Flamez, but still had an impressive championship run. The road to the championship game was no easy feat for the team. They lost their second bracket play game in the 10-team double-elimination tournament to Flamez 5-1. Through the course of four days, the team played 11 games, two each on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and five on Sunday.

“We kept winning on Sunday and that kept us in the tournament,” Frank said.

Staying alive was the team’s goal Sunday when the girls won their first four games by a combined score of 30-14 to come out first in the losers bracket and earn a spot in the championship game.

The second-place finish marked another successful tournament for the young team. The team has played in about a dozen tournaments, has won one, placed second in two and third in two, Frank said.

Frank said he started the team about a year ago, and they began playing in tournaments last September. He previously coached Ottawa Recreation Commission softball for about a decade, he said.

“I explored the possibility of a team that could travel to tournaments and was a little more serious than a rec league,” Frank said. “I didn’t advertise [the team], I did it by word of mouth.”

The team now has 10 players on the roster and, Frank said, has had as many as 12 players. The Adrenaline squad is registered with the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) and United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA). The Heartland World Series was an ASA sponsored event.

Frank said the team plays in the C division, which is lower than the A and B levels, but that bodes well because of the team members’ youth.

“Half of the team could be playing in the 12 and under league,” Frank said.

The goal for Frank and the team is to play in a couple of tournaments a month in the Kansas City area during the season, which picks up in the spring and lasts through the summer, Frank said. The team practices once or twice a week, but Frank does not make the practices mandatory.

“We play to win, but I also want to keep it as fun as I can for the girls,” Frank said. “They really hold their own very well.”

Family ties also are alive on Frank’s team. Two of his daughters, Lauren, 15, and Katie, 11, play on the team. Frank said Lauren was able to play this year because she was not 15 until after Jan. 1. His oldest daughter, Lindsay, 20, is the assistant coach for the team.

Frank said after the first year he plans to keep the team going.

“[The kids] are all a joy to work with,” Frank said. “I have no intention of stopping [the team] anytime soon.”

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