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BURN THE SHIPS

03/22/2017 9:57 AM - A.J. Fagerlin

 

The Akron Racers and Think Media Studios are pleased to announce that their feature length documentary film, “Burn the Ships” will be premiering at the 41st Cleveland International Film Festival! 

“Burn the Ships”, directed by Julia Thorndike and Danielle Miller and produced by Brian Glazen (all of Think Media Studios), follows a year in the life of our Akron Racers. Thorndike and Miller filmed the Racers off and on from October 2014 to August 2015. The film features accounts from people across the NPF including Racers players, NPF commissioner Cheri Kempf, and our own General Manager Joey Arrietta.
 
The film documents the immense struggles that professional softball has faced over the years, and documents how the Racers have been overcoming the numerous obstacles. “Burn the Ships” highlights the trials and tribulations that have caused women’s professional softball to suspend its existence on multiple occasions, and led to many, many teams coming and going throughout the years. Things such as the tremendous pay difference for women’s and men’s professional athletes, amongst others. 
 
As I talked about a few weeks ago, the Racers have been the one team that has been there from the very beginning. Akron has not wavered since the dawn of the Racers in 1999 in the WSPL, overcoming hardships, and continue to thrive today. This is due to the overall no-quit attitude of the franchise, and the incredible determination of our Co-Owner and GM Joey Arrietta. 
 
Joey’s dedication to this sport, this team, and these women is clear and constant. She does everything that she possibly can to provide the best possible opportunities for her players and the fans. As Joey says in the film, “I don’t give up… That’s not an option for me.” This determination is very evident whenever you are around Joey. She says, “We play for a different reason.” It’s not all about wins and losses for Joey. It’s about being there for each and every player, and continuing the overall success of the franchise that means so much to so many. 
 
The title of “Burn the Ships” fits right in with the never give up attitude of Joey and the Racers. “Burn the Ships” is a phrase that the Racers have used for motivation. It stems from Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes when he came to conquer the new world. He told his men to “burn the ships” because there was no turning back. That is a perfect mantra for the Akron Racers. There is no turning back… we are here to stay. 
 
“Burn the Ships” will be playing in both Akron and Cleveland during the Cleveland International Film Festival. There is a showing at the Akron-Summit County Public Library on Friday, March 31st at 7:00 pm. There will be two additional showings in Cleveland at Tower City Cinemas, Sunday, April 2nd at 11:10 am and Monday, April 3rd at 4:15 pm. Tickets for the screenings are $16, and attending a showing gets you a complimentary ticket to an Akron Racers game, courtesy of the Akron Racers. Tickets are on sale now!
 
 
Watch the “Burn the Ships” trailer here
 
Be sure to come out and watch this incredible film that will undoubtedly open some eyes, and will hopefully help the league and our team to continue to push forward. 
 
 
 
 
 

SOFTBALL, SOFTBALL, AND MORE SOFTBALL!

03/15/2017 9:57 AM - A.J. Fagerlin

 

 Our Akron Racers are proud to call Firestone Stadium home. We play our home games here, and the stadium is also where our offices are located. But Firestone Stadium is certainly not exclusive to the Racers and professional softball. Starting in early April, our new “Field of Dreams” at Firestone Stadium will be heavily utilized by teams in many different ranks of the sport. The Akron Racers Foundation is responsible for putting on many tournaments at Firestone Stadium, and surrounding fields, throughout the spring and summer. 

 
In addition to professional softball… college, high school, and travel ball are all played here at Firestone Stadium. In fact, the first game to be played on our newly renovated “Field of Dreams” will be a high school matchup between nearby rivals Ellet and Springfield. The storied Akron-area softball programs will square off April 7th at 4:30. This battle of former state champion schools will open our first amateur tournament of the year, the Ohio Invitational, which will run through April 9th. 
 
Playing at Firestone Stadium is a big deal for softball teams. For the Ohio Invitational, for example, schools from all across the state and even outside the state of Ohio are making the trip to Akron to play. Schools from Ohio, Michigan, and even New York make up the 19-team field. Firestone Stadium also plays host to two all-star events, and three championships including the MAC, OHSAA, and USCAA championship tournaments. 
 
Another big event that we host exclusively here at Firestone Stadium is the Rubber City Rivalry Series. This event allows some of the biggest local high school rivals to square off on the biggest softball stage around. Area rivals such as St. Vincent St. Mary and Archbishop Hoban will battle for supremacy right here in Akron. Other matchups include South Range vs Kirkland, Woodridge vs Waterloo, Mathews vs LaBrae, Smithville vs Chippewa, Magnificat vs St. Joseph Academy, Poland vs Canfield, Tusky Central Catholic vs Strasburg, and once again, Ellet vs Springfield. These games will be taking place two at a time on April 12th, 19th, 24th 26th, and May 4th. 
 
Firestone and other local fields such as Pony Field, Diamond Crystal Field, and Logan Fields will all be utilized for our multitude of tournaments this softball season. Five high school tournaments will be played, providing local schools a chance to compete at a high level at a top-of-the-line facility. There is even a JV Jamboree tournament to give even more players the opportunity to play at a highly competitive level. There will also be five travel ball tournaments put on by the Akron Racers Foundation, with ages ranging from 10u to at least 18u. 
 
Our “Field of Dreams” will certainly be immediately hosting a full load of play. Before, and even during the Racers season, amateur events will be utilizing every chance available to hit our brand new diamond. Director of Amateur Events, Jill Williams, and the rest of the Akron Racers and Akron Racers Foundation have been working very hard to get teams registered, and to set up an optimal schedule for our each of our tournaments to provide teams and fans with quality and entertaining experiences. 
 
You don’t have to wait until the Racers’ home opener for great softball at Firestone Stadium! Starting with the opening night of our “Field of Dreams” April 7th, there will be many, many opportunities to come out to the park. Check out the Akron Racers Foundation website for all of the information you may need for our amateur events and tournaments. Start clearing space in your spring and summer schedule for frequent softball trips! Get ready to come check out our new field, and to watch the best of travel, high school, college, and professional softball. Tickets are on sale now! We will see you here at Firestone Stadium before you know it! 
 
 
 
 

THERE'S PROFESSIONAL SOFTBALL?

03/08/2017 10:57 AM - A.J. Fagerlin
   
 
Of course there is professional softball! And since you’re reading this post, you likely already know that. But when I tell someone that I’m interning with the Akron Racers, they often say “what’s that?” And when I explain to them that it is a professional softball team right here in Akron, the most common response is “there’s professional softball?” It’s a shame that we have such an amazing team of hard working women playing right in our backyard, and a lot of people don’t even know that the team or league exists. So yes… there is professional softball. Let me inform anyone that may not know, and give a little more detail and background for our already enlightened fans.
 
The league that the Akron Racers play in is called the NPF (National Pro Fastpitch). The league currently consists of five teams: the USSSA Pride in Florida, The Scrapyard Dawgs and Texas Charge in Texas, the Chicago Bandits, and of course the Akron Racers. The playing season starts in early June and ends in late August. Being a professional sports league, players are acquired through a collegiate draft and through free agency, just like the NFL, NBA, or MLB. The MLB is the Official Development partner of the NPF and continues efforts to help promote the league and women’s softball. Gameplay and league rules are very similar to that of college softball. 
 
Those are the basics of today’s NPF… but how did this all come about? The first professional softball league was founded in 1976, and was called the International Women’s Professional Softball Association. The IWPSA, founded by elite female athletes such as Billie Jean King, featured 10 teams in cities across the nation that competed in 120 games featuring 60 doubleheaders. The league lasted four years before lack of funds, high travel costs, and inadequate facilities ultimately led to its demise.
 
Although without a professional league, fastpitch softball flourished collegiately and internationally until a new league was formed by the Cowles family in May 1997. The league originally was called the WPF (Women’s Pro Fastpitch) but was changed to the WPSL (Women’s Professional Softball League) in 1998. The WPSL was sponsored by AT&T Wireless, and the inaugural championship was won by the Orlando Wahoos in August 1997. 
 
In 1998 however, the Wahoos operation was suspended by the NPF, and their players were assigned to a new franchise called the Akron Racers. Akron was awarded a team following the hosting of 3,873 fans for the inaugural NPF All-Star Game at Firestone Stadium. In December 1998, the Racers participated in the inaugural WPSL Draft, and began play in 1999. 
 
After starting in 1999, the Racers have fought through all of the hardships that the teams have faced, and are the only team from the WPSL remaining today. Following the 2000 season, the WPSL announced the suspension of the 2001 season to concentrate on expansion for the 2002 season. The current league, National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), didn’t begin play until 2004, with the Racers being the only team to make the transition from the WPSL. Additionally, Akron is the only team to last to present day since the 2004 dawn of the NPF. The league has seen many franchises struggle, and many teams come and go… but the Racers haven’t wavered, and are still thriving today. 
 
Women’s sports, including fastpitch softball, are on the rise, and continue to take steps to become more and more prominent. All NPF games are streamed online, and many games in the league’s history have been broadcast on ESPN. Professional softball games have earned better ratings on ESPN than NHL and MLS games. The NPF has been the stage of many prominent players that even the most casual of softball fans will know… Players such as Monica Abbott, Cat Osterman, and even Jennie Finch! The current players continue to accomplish incredible breakthroughs, such as our own A.J. Andrews becoming the first woman EVER to earn a Rawlings Gold Glove Award. 
 
It is disappointing that the NPF isn’t at the level of other professional sports leagues, and it is really a shame that many people don’t even know it exists. Once exposed to the league and when people come out to a game, they realize what they have been missing, and see just how awesome our professional softball league is. With the hard work of the players, teams, fans, and the league itself, more and more people will discover and come to love the NPF just as we do. 
 
Didn’t know there was professional softball? Now you do. Make an effort to come out to a game and see what it’s all about. If you already love professional softball and our Akron Racers, bring friends that aren’t as familiar. Expose new people and spread the love of professional softball! Tickets are on sale now! For information, go to akronracers.org or call the ticket office at (330) 376-8188 today! Go Racers! 
 
 
 
 

FIELD OF DREAMS

03/01/2017 11:08 AM - A.J. Fagerlin

 

By the time June rolls around, Firestone Stadium will have a fresh new look. The team at AG Design has been working incredibly hard all offseason to provide us with our “Field of Dreams” and make our vision a reality. The work that they have already gotten done is amazing. And by the time they are finished, Firestone Stadium should be quite the spectacle.

 
The team at AG Design laid 600 tons of sand down to provide natural drainage and a firm base for our field. The field has also been laser-leveled to ensure that it is completely flat and level. In addition, a new drainage system has been installed to keep the field in better playing condition throughout the season here in Ohio, as well as a new irrigation system to keep the field healthy when the water doesn’t come down naturally. 
 
If you have seen the field at Firestone Stadium in the past, it may have seemed that the Racers were playing softball on a baseball field. The infield was enormous, and a breakaway fence was set up in the middle of the outfield for our softball games. This is no longer the case. The infield is now smaller, and much more proportionate to the dimensions of play for softball. Also, we will have a new, actual fence that will be six feet high, 200 feet away from the plate down the lines, and 220 feet to center field. 
 
We have also had a warning track installed all the way around the field, which we did not have previously. Last week may have seen the most exciting progress made yet. After putting down a layer of top soil, the crew finally laid our new bluegrass sod! The field looks magnificent, and is getting closer and closer to being game-ready. With a new warning track and new sod, look for our amazing defensive outfielders to continue to make more and more incredible diving catches and home run robberies.
 
In addition to the playing field, Firestone Stadium has gotten a couple renovations itself. On Thanksgiving weekend, a group of amazing volunteers braved the 35 degree weather to come out and help install new red seats behind home plate. Also, some painting has been done, with everything that was previously green being painted gray. All of these efforts to make the stadium more visually appealing, and to make the playing field optimal for our players and fans.
 
The dedication of everyone involved in this “Field of Dreams” project has been incredible. From the remarkable crew at AG Design, braving the cold Ohio weather to continue to work and make progress on our field… to the volunteers, who spent their holiday weekend out in the cold to make Firestone Stadium look even better… to Joey Arrietta herself, for having such an amazing vision for our field, and for having the incredible dedication to stay involved and give daily updates on social media to all of the fans interested in knowing what’s going on. This has been a true team effort, and the results will be spectacular to see come June for the Racers, and even earlier for some of our amateur events that will be held at the BRAND NEW Firestone Stadium this spring. 
 
 
 
 

WHAT ARE OUR PLAYERS UP TO?

02/22/2017 11:02 AM - A.J. Fagerlin
 
As I said last week, softball never sleeps. Just as we at the Racers are staying very busy trying to make the team better, the players themselves are also hard at work. Our players have taken on a variety of different responsibilities this offseason.
 
A popular option for Racer players this offseason is to spread their knowledge and gain coaching experience by helping out at a university in some capacity. Nearly a dozen Racers are coaching at NCAA university softball programs this college season.
 
Pitchers Rachele Fico, Laura Winter, and newly signed Emily Weiman are all coaching. Fico is an Assistant Coach at Georgia, Winter, the same at Murray State, and Weiman is a Graduate Assistant Coach at East Carolina University.
 
As for our position players: outfielder Shellie Robinson is an Assistant Coach at Division II school North Greenville University, Cassie Tysarczyk is a Volunteer Assistant at the University of Houston, and infielders Ashley Thomas and Sandra Simmons are assistants at Belmont and Kentucky, respectively.
 
The offseason often provides our players the opportunity to return to their own alma mater to coach. This is the case for All-NPF catcher Griffin Joiner, who is a Graduate Assistant at her alma mater of Kentucky, along with Simmons. Catcher Hannah Day is also back with her alma mater of Troy University. Outfielder Geri Ann Glasco is a Student Assistant with her alma mater of Oregon this season, and Jenny Gilbert is an Assistant Coach at alma mater Ball State University. All-NPF third baseman Kelley Montalvo actually returned to the high school that she attended, and is now coaching and teaching at Pace High School in Florida.
 
Even our own Manager, Brian Levin, is coaching at the college level, as the Head Coach at Belmont. He is currently working alongside player Ashley Thomas. It will be very interesting to see our players going up against each other as coaches, as some of their teams will be facing each other this season, or already have (Glasco and Oregon getting the better of Joiner, Simmons and Kentucky for example).
 
Also, many players help out at softball clinics held throughout the year and around the country to continue to help young players grow. Racer players such as first baseman Sam Fischer, All-NPF outfielder Taylor Schlopy, second baseman Alex Hugo, and Rawlings Gold Glove Award winning outfielder A.J. Andrews are spending part of their offseason working at such clinics and providing private lessons to young softballers.
 
In addition to working clinics, camps, and giving private lessons, some of our players are continuing their schooling and training as well. For example, a typical week for Alex Hugo involves training for two hours in the morning (working out and hitting), going to class right afterwards until 3:30, working from 5:00 to 9:30 or 10:00 pm every night, and then finding time to work some clinics and camps on the weekend. A.J. Andrews is also going to school this offseason, working on getting her master’s degree from LSU.
 
Finally, multiple Racers will be taking their talents overseas before this year’s Racers season. NPF Rookie of the Year shortstop Sami Fagan, along with pitchers Jailyn Ford and Aimee Creger, will be heading to play in the Japan Women’s Softball League. Also, veteran pitcher Sarah Pauly will be playing in Italy.
 
No matter their official title with the school they are at, or whether they are teaching, playing, or working on their degree… our players are working hard and utilizing their knowledge and experience to help others get better. And in the process, they are staying involved in the game, learning, and making themselves better as well. The dedication of these young women is incredible, and will certainly prepare them well for an outstanding 2017 season with your Akron Racers! They have been working hard, and as Hugo said, she is “really excited to get to Akron and play some ball!” Be sure to grab your tickets today!
 
 
 

SOFTBALL NEVER SLEEPS

02/15/2017 10:56 AM - A.J. Fagerlin

 

It may still be winter, but the Racers and the NPF have been as busy as ever preparing for the upcoming season. Let me highlight what has been happening in the offseason thus far:

Racers’ outfielder A.J. Andrews continues to be recognized for her accomplishment of becoming the first woman EVER to receive a Rawlings Gold Glove Award. After being named the winner at the annual National Professional Fastpitch Awards Banquet, Andrews was recognized by the Racers at a reception at the Summit County Softball Hall of Fame, by the Cleveland Indians before a game in September, and even attended the Rawlings Gold Glove Award dinner in New York alongside some of the best players in the MLB. 
 
The Racers announced last month that we have signed third-year pitcher Emily Weiman, formerly of the Pennsylvania Rebellion. The 22nd overall pick in the 2015 NPF Draft, Weiman will provide the Racers with another arm that will fit right into the 2017 Racers’ “recipe for success” of “getting the ball into the hands of our defense,” as GM Joey Arrietta explained. The former N.C. State Wolfpack-er boasts a 2.94 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP, and only 1 HR per 8.58 innings pitched in her two season NPF career.
 
In addition to signing Weiman, the Racers’ front office has been busy working to resign key players from last season’s squad. Also, we have been very active in scouting prospects for the upcoming NPF Draft. Stay tuned for updates regarding the draft date, as well as signings and roster moves to see which players will be sporting Racers’ red and black this season.
 
Owner/GM Joey Arrietta recently returned to Akron from Nashville, TN where she attended the annual NPF Winter Meetings. Representatives from every team were in attendance to discuss policy changes, rules approvals and adjustments, and the upcoming season schedule, among other things, for 2017. To summarize the results of this year’s meetings… the team salary cap and the maximum number of players allowed on the roster both increased. A minimum salary for player contracts was established. All bats used must be from NPF-approved suppliers. Also, pitching rules are now modeled more after that of the WBSC than the NCAA. 
 
And finally… the 2017 Racers’ schedule has been announced! In addition to the 24 games against NPF opponents, the Racers’ schedule is highlighted by three exhibition games against the Canadian National Team (two being a doubleheader), here at Firestone Stadium. After beginning the season on an 11-game road trip, Akron will have their home opener Friday June 23rd against the USSSA Pride. The Racers’ will battle the Pride, the Chicago Bandits, the Scrapyard Dawgs, and the newly-named Texas Charge for the NPF Championship. 
Single game tickets are now on sale! Be sure to check out all of our awesome ticket options on our website. Stay tuned for announcements regarding promotions and other news for the upcoming season. Be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and check back for a new blog post every Wednesday for all your Racers news!
 
Thank you for reading, and GO RACERS!
 

NEW YEAR, NEW INTERNS: LAURA

02/08/2017 11:09 AM - A.J. Fagerlin

Hello again Racers fans!

The final person that I would like to introduce to you is our new Social Media Intern, Laura Wheeler.

Laura is currently a senior at Kent State University, and plans to graduate in May with a Computer Science degree.

Upon graduation, however, Laura hopes to get involved in the field of social media and marketing. She hopes to become a brand manager for a sports team or other company.   

In addition to school and the internship, Laura works at The Twisted Olive restaurant in North Canton, where she is from. She graduated from North Canton Hoover High School in 2011. 

Laura is a huge sports fan. She loves basketball and volleyball, both of which she played in school. 

As the Social Media Intern, Laura’s goal is to increase the number of followers that the Racers have on their social media sites, and enhance the interaction with followers and fans. 

Be sure to keep up with Laura and the Akron Racers on all of our social media pages! Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

 

 

NEW YEAR, NEW INTERNS!: MEG

02/01/2017 10:59 AM - A.J. Fagerlin

 Hey Racers fans!

 

The next person I want to introduce to you is Meg O’Gorman. Meg will be the Amateur Events Intern for the Racers this spring.

 

Meg is from Cleveland, and is currently a junior at The University of Mount Union, where she is studying Sport Business with a minor in Exercise Science.

 

She is a sister of Alpha Xi Delta sorority, where she was responsible for planning events for her chapter.

 

She was a three year letter winner at Holy Name High School in softball, also playing travel softball for ten years.

 

In addition to softball, Meg played club soccer for eight years, and was also on a competitive team for dance.

 

Meg is very excited to have the opportunity to work with some of the events that she once played in.

 

Be sure to check out the amateur events and multitude of tournaments put on by the Racers at Firestone Stadium and the surrounding area this spring!

 

And of course…

 

Go Racers!!!

NEW YEAR, NEW INTERNS!: DAWN

01/25/2017 11:00 AM - A.J. Fagerlin

 Racers fans,

I’m happy to introduce to you the new Promotions Intern for the spring, Dawn Ceccardi.

Dawn is currently a junior at The University of Akron where she is majoring in Organizational Supervision with a Marketing minor, after starting out in Nursing.

The past two years, Dawn has been working at Victoria’s Secret as a Sales Specialist. Also, whenever she has time around work and a full workload of classes, she coaches soccer at Kent Middle School.

She says that sports have always been a part of her life, and she looks forward to gaining experience in the sports field working in promotions with a professional sports team.

Right now, Dawn is considering two main career paths once she gets her degree. She would like to either continue her career at Victoria’s Secret in a corporate marketing role, or continue to utilize her passion for athletics in the field of sports marketing.

When she isn’t staying busy furthering her knowledge and career potential through school, work, and internships… Dawn enjoys shopping, working out daily, and traveling (recently visiting Puerto Rico).

As the Promotions intern, Dawn’s goal is to make sure that fans have a great time when they come to the ballpark, and are eager to come back. As she states, “It’s all about the experience... having fun!”

Be sure to come out to Firestone Stadium this season to check out some of Dawn’s awesome ideas, as well as a pretty darn good softball team! 

NEW YEAR, NEW INTERNS!: A.J.

01/18/2017 11:31 AM - A.J. Fagerlin

 Hello Akron Racers fans!

 

My name is A.J. Fagerlin (great Racers first name, isn’t it?!) and I am the new Media/PR intern for this spring. I am very grateful for the opportunity, and super excited to be part of the Racers team!

 

I am currently a junior at The University of Akron majoring in Sports Management. When I am finished with school I hope to go into sports journalism, making this internship a perfect opportunity for me.

 

I graduated from Tallmadge High School in 2014, and have been at Akron ever since. I have worked throughout high school and college at Seven Grains Natural Market in Tallmadge, and the past two baseball seasons I have also worked at Canal Park with the Akron RubberDucks in the Fun Zone.

 

I am truly a sports fanatic, which explains my desire to go into the field of sports media. I love playing and watching pretty much all sports. I played baseball in high school, and I am currently on the Club Golf team at The University of Akron. I can name pretty much every player in the NBA and NFL, and I even go to NASCAR races twice a year. I love to golf and play basketball with my friends, and also talk and write about sports. I am a true Northeast Ohio sports fan. Browns, Cavs, Indians… and of course, the Racers.

 

I am looking forward to this great opportunity to learn, work hard, and have fun as part of such an amazing organization. The Racers say, “It’s More Than a Game… It’s an Experience.” I look forward to benefiting from the experience myself, while helping provide the fan with the greatest experience that they could imagine.

 

Stay tuned for more blog posts in the near future…

 

and GO RACERS!

COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

12/23/2016 9:58 AM - Akron Racers

 

As we approach the end of the year and the holiday season, it’s time to count our many blessings and just how fortunate we are.  The Akron Racers family has so much to be thankful for this season.

It all starts with you, our fans, without you we would not have been able to celebrate our 15th Season of Play this past summer.  Without you, the Racers could not continue on this incredible journey that started way back in 1999.  For that, words could never fully express our thanks.

Next are the many players, coaches and personnel that have made the Racers’ dream a reality.  More than 165 extremely talented players have donned the Racers’ red, black & silver since 1999. Many of those players showed just what it means to be a Racer when they returned to Akron to help celebrate our 15th Season of Play this past July.  We thank each and every one of our former players that have had their own unique impact on defining the Akron Racers.

As much as 2016 was about honoring the past and how far the Racers have come in their amazing voyage since 1999, the 23 phenomenal athletes that made up this past season’s edition of the Racers put on exhilarating performances throughout the summer that thrilled us all and secured a very bright future for our program. The list is impressive. A.J. Andrews’ highlight reel catches that snagged her the first Rawlings Gold Glove ever awarded to a female softball player; the outstanding play of Sami Fagan earning her the first NPF Rookie of the Year in Racer franchise history; Kelley Montalvo’s stellar defense which not only made her a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove, but also earned a third consecutive All-NPF award; Taylor Schlopy’s record setting season in which she became the franchise leader in runs (157) and hits (195) and netted her the All-NPF centerfielder honor;  Griffin Joiner was named the All-NPF catcher after a fantastic defensive season behind the plate. And then finally, to the entire Racers offense that broke the franchise record with 57 regular season home runs. The young but talented 2016 Racers team etched their names in now the completed 15th volume of the Akron Racers record book.

Our blessings of the past are just the beginning, as renovations to Firestone Stadium have begun. Everything from fresh paint to our newly built “Field of Dreams” is underway.  We are eagerly awaiting the ground-breaking of our new clubhouse and training facility that will revolutionize Firestone Stadium. All of which is set to unfold in 2017. So fans, the future is even more exciting than the past for the Racers. 

We here at the Akron Racers have so much to be thankful for this holiday season and it all starts with you.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you and we hope you have the most wonderful holiday season.

 

As winter sets in, I get set to leave.

12/12/2016 12:30 PM - Teahl Rice

 

Interning with the Akron Racers has proven to be one of my favorite endeavors thus far in my career. I've met wonderful people and accumulated professional contacts I look forward to keeping up with.

I've gained experience in so many different aspects of Public Relations, such as creating content for digital media and blogs, analyzing digital media and website analytics, and creating visually stimulating graphics. Besides the work experience I loved the envirnoment the Racers brought to Firestone Stadium.

I've got one semester left at Kent State University and I'll be graduating in May. As of now I am looking for jobs in Columbus, but I'm open to the idea of relocating out of Ohio. I've got several interviews set up over winter break, and I'm so exicted for the opportunities each one of them provides. I'm hoping to become an account executive working in a variety of fields such as healthcare, sports or the travel and recreation industry.

Thank you for everything Akron Racers, it's been a blast!

 

Find motivation within yourself and through others

12/10/2016 12:00 PM - Teahl Rice

Read about how reigning NPF Rookie of the Year and Akron Racers shortstop Sami Fagan stays focused, gets prepared, works hard and what that leads to!

 

-How do you prepare before a game? - I prepare for a game by getting good night’s sleep the night before and eating healthy all week leading up to the game. The morning of a game I make sure I have a good breakfast and a satisfying pre-game meal. I also drink a lot of coffee. The caffeine helps me focus and play better.

-What's the most important thing to know about off-season training? - The most important thing to know about off-season training is that you shouldn't put it off. A lot of people take too much time off and then find it more difficult to get back into training mode. Time off is important, but once your body is fully rested, get back into training mode.

-How do you stay focused? - I stay focused by thinking about softball every day and surrounding myself with motivated people. It's easy to stay focused because I love to play softball.

-How did you end up being a professional softball player? - I ended up being a professional softball player by working hard and setting goals for myself. By working hard to achieve the goals, I am able to play at the professional level.

-Is it easy to balance softball and college? - It was not easy to balance softball and college for me. I would rather do extra hitting and fielding then spend time studying. I forced myself to schedule tutors so that I would be required to spend time on my studies, but I would much rather be playing softball.

-What was it like being on travel teams? - Travel ball was a lot of fun. It wasn't hard to balance middle school and high school with softball because I had parents that were strict on me with getting good grades. If I didn't keep my grades up then I had to miss practice and games so I made sure to get all A's.

-Did you sacrifice a lot to be in the spot you're in now? - I don't feel like I sacrificed a lot because it has always been fun for me to work hard to get better. It wasn't a big deal if I couldn't do things that my friends that didn't play sports did, because I wanted to play softball instead anyways.

-Is there something you wish you would have been told when you started this journey? - No, I think that I had the right mentors growing up that helped me get to where I am on this journey.

-What do you plan to do after your softball career is over? - I plan on coaching at a high level.

 

Have you ever been motivated?

12/03/2016 1:00 PM - Teahl Rice

This week we asked pitcher Jailyn Ford to dive into what helped her prepare to be the softball player she is today. See what she had to say! 

·       How do you prepare before a game?

-   I don’t do a lot to prepare for a game. I typically just get dressed, put my hair up into a ponytail, put on my black headband and wait patiently until it’s time to warm up. I like to be a part of the pre-game atmosphere and listen to the locker room music or chat with someone beside me, I don’t like to close myself off by sticking in earphones.

·       What’s the most important thing to know about off-season training?

-   I think it’s important to rest and recover especially after a tough season(s) of training. Once your body has had a bit of a break, it’s time to prepare for the next season. The off-season, in my opinion, is the most important season of them all because it’s what prepares you for the three or six or nine month season ahead of you. I’ve always been a fan of “championships aren’t won in the Spring, they’re won in the off-season” mentality because if you don’t prepare your body and mind for the road ahead, then you’ll never make it through a 60 game season.

·       How do you stay focused?

-   During the game, I stay focused by taking a deep breath. When I would hit in college, I would always focus on a bat weight sticker, take a deep breath in, exhale, and then step into the box. When I’m on the mound, I usually wait until I receive the signal either from the coach or the catcher, step on the mound, and then take a deep breath before throwing the pitch. This allows me to clear my head of the pitch before (whether it was good or bad), and help me focus on the task and the play ahead of me.

·       How did you end up being a professional softball player?

-   A lot of hard work and someone always believing that I had talent within me. I remember growing up and my classmates always telling me that when I grew up I’d be a star in college, member of the USA Team, on the front of Sports Illustrated, and playing professionally in the “big leagues”. I would always laugh and say how a little girl from a little town would never, but it gave me something to strive for. I worked hard in the backyard with my dad (even on nights that I didn’t want to), a travel coach took a chance on me and gave me exposure to play in front of college coaches. I found a university that wanted me to continue that dream. Then a coaching staff that would help me achieve that dream. And last April as I sat and watched my name being called third overall in the NPF Draft, I knew there was someone else out there that believed in my talent and helped me achieve that success that my childhood classmates saw in me. I’m not a member of the USA Team and I’ve never been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but that just gives me more goals to go after now.

·       Is it easy to balance softball and college?

-   At first it was very difficult because you’re not used to the time management needed to balance softball, academics, meetings, class, tutors, study hall, treatment times and finding a time to eat somewhere in between. It can be overwhelming at first, especially if it’s something you are new to and haven’t done in the past. Once you figure out a routine and schedule, it becomes much easier to balance it all. By the end of my first year, I started to understand the basics and it helped be become more successful both on and off the field.

·       What was it like being on travel teams in middle school and high school? Was it hard to balance?

-   I enjoyed it a ton because I always got to meet new people from all over the state of Virginia. I also got to play with some of my opponents in high school so it was fun to be able to be on the same travel team and then play against them during our high school district games. It was sometimes very hard to balance because a lot of my weekends were spent traveling up and down the east coast to play softball. I would be exhausted by the time I got back home so it would be tough to get up at 7:00 am the next morning for school. Plus to try and do homework assignments on the road became tough, but it showed me a glimpse of what it would be like to play in college and have to travel every weekend.

·       Did you sacrifice a lot to be in the spot you’re in now?

-   I had to give up a lot of social gatherings and time with friends especially in high school. I missed a lot of my homecoming dances and friend’s birthday parties, but I’ve always put softball first and without that I’m not sure I’d be where I am today. Softball has become such an integral part of not only my life, but some of my family and friends too that it would be difficult to imagine living a life without it.

·       Is there something you wish you would have been told when you started this journey?

-   Not at all. I think an intriguing part of this game is the fact that we never know what’s going to happen on any given day. I think one of the motivating factors for me was, and still is, the unknown of what tomorrow brings and what is waiting for me at the end of the tunnel. If I had known some of the stuff I know now, it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable as it has been to learn and grow each and every day.

·       What do you plan to do after your softball career is over?

-   Like I said earlier, it would be difficult to imagine a life without softball. I’d love to stay involved with the sport however possible. Whether it’s coaching little girls and teaching them how to pitch, coaching a travel/high school/college team, or even running my own batting facility. However, after I’m done playing, I may decide to hang up the cleats for good and work in another field. I like doing just about anything and enjoy new challenges or learning new fields so why not keep my options open right now and see where this path takes me. 

Teach your daughter to be brave. Teach your player to be brave.

11/30/2016 10:00 AM - Teahl Rice

 

A brave player starts at the core. She has to feel brave, think she’s brave, and know she’s brave. A softball player shouldn’t have to question herself as she steps onto the field. She should be proud of who she is and what she’s doing. The definition of brave is “endure or face unpleasant conditions or behavior without showing fear.” Synonyms include intrepidity, fearlessness, boldness, daring, prowess, heroism, pluck, audacity, nerve, mettle and spunk. What is that certain quality we want to instill in our daughter that will make her brave when others cower?

 

- Challenge her to try new things, indulge her fears and turn them into positives.

- Point out real life role models and the fears and struggles they had to go through.

- Set an example. Let her know the fears you’ve had to overcome in order to be the person you are today.

- Let her know it’s okay to be afraid, but to reach out when she needs help or is struggling.

- In order to be brave you must be confident. Teach her that confidence walking onto a field will set the tone for bravery.

- Let her know it’s okay to be wrong and make mistakes. Often times we struggle with the fear of failure, but there is bravery in knowing that you might not succeed, yet you still try.

 

Christmas and softball… What more could you want?

11/26/2016 2:00 PM - Teahl Rice

 

Christmas and softball… What more could you want?

It’s getting cold and the snow is picking up. The holiday season keeps our spirits pretty high, but we know you’re missing softball as much as we are! Don’t miss out on our annual holiday party where you get the chance to eat great food and have a Q&A with our GM, Joey Arrietta.

With so many new things happening this year you won’t want to miss this holiday party. So come to Ray’s Place of Fairlawn Eatery & Tavern on December 15th to get the scoop!

The party starts at 5:30 p.m. and we’ll need you to RSVP so we can plan accordingly.

Meals will not be covered by the Akron Racers but dessert is on us!

Looking forward to seeing you all!

Call us at 330-376-8188 to reserve your seat now!

 

“I am too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated."

11/16/2016 10:45 AM - Teahl Rice

 

Life will bring obstacles on and off the field. Here’s some words of wisdom on how you can achieve greatness!  

- Always be coachable: If something isn’t working out for you, take others' advice. What you’re doing might not be what’s best for you. Stay humble and accept outside opinions to improve yourself.

- Don’t let yourself strike out: Life gives you more than one chance, so take as many as you can get. So when you see those perfect pitches you need to go for it!

- The plate will never change: Be a woman of virtue. Right is right, and wrong is wrong.  Understand your values and never change them. Be honest and sincere.

- Success comes from yourself and others: The people in your life will always be there to support you. Take advantage of this. Let them help you grow and help you achieve your goals. Learn to work together!

- Sacrifices will need to be made: If you’re willing to sacrifice a bunt to get the run, you’ve got the right idea. Sometimes you’ll need to make sacrifices in order to get further along in life.

- There’s always another play: You’re not going to get things right every time, just like you won’t make every play. Let your mistakes guide you to helping you better yourself, your decisions, and your life. Learning from our wrongs can help us make many more rights.

- Play with purpose: When you’re on the field, you are giving it your all. So when you’re off the field do the same thing. No matter how big, or how small something may seem, giving it your all will ultimately set you in the right path.

Do you have any other advice that could be essential to helping players on and off the field? Let us know by tweeting at us or commenting on Facebook! 

 

 

Are You Smarter Than Another Fan

11/12/2016 9:00 AM - Teahl Rice

 

We think Jailyn Ford is pretty cool… Do you? She gave us some pretty cool answers for this week's “Are You Smarter Than Another Fan”. We even got a recipe from her that made our mouths start watering! If you try the recipe let us know. Tag us in your pictures if it looks extra good!

• Do you have pets/furbabies? - I have a 9 year old chocolate lab named Fenway (after the Boston Red Sox stadium). I’ve owned a golden retriever named Shadow, fish, three turtles, and a baby chipmunk as pets before, too.

• What’s your favorite junk food? - Doritos and white queso.

• What’s your favorite pregame snack? – Firehouse subs.

• What is the sound you love the most? – Waves breaking on the shore.

• Any tips for younger girls/fans? – Refuse to be outworked and play with passion for the game.

• Cake or pie? – Almost any type of cake.

• Any favorite recipes worth sharing? - Smothered pork chops: preheat oven to 350. Season pork chops with salt and pepper to taste. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the pork chops in the butter for about 5 minutes per side. In a separate medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of water, and 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup. Place the pork chops in a 9x13 inch baking dish and pour the soup mixture over the chops. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

• If you could shop for free at one store, what store would you go to? – Nike or Under Armour.

• Who is your favorite person you follow on Twitter? – My brother Jonah.

• What’s our favorite Disney movie/character? – Lion King, Toy Story, almost any Pixar animated movie.

• What song do you have on repeat right now? – Ignition Remix.

• Who is your favorite athlete? – Jennie Finch because I think she’s done a lot for the sport and is such a good role model for kids to follow.

• What’s the most bizarre question you’ve ever been asked? – What comes after 900 million? 1000 million?

• Do you have any pet peeves? – When people don’t respect each other or their things.

• What’s your favorite holiday? – Thanksgiving because you’re able to be grateful for the people and things in your life and spend time with the people who matter to you.

• If you could pick a different name what would it be? Jailyn.

• What’s your most embarrassing childhood story? – I used to always have to have my shirt tucked into my jeans/pants when I was little.

• If you could ask your pet 3 questions what would they be? – When you have dreams where your paws are kicking and you’re barking, what are you dreaming about? Do you forgive me whenever I accidentally step on you? Who’s a good boy?

• You’re stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things do you bring? – My best friend, a boat, drinking water, a fishing pole, a good mattress.

 

Women's sports are evolving

11/09/2016 11:00 AM - Teahl Rice

 

It’s no surprise that when I say woman’s sports are highly underrepresented compared to men’s sports, both at a professional and amateur level. Professional women are young, and few women athletes are compensated for utilizing their skills. However, according to an article by Ohio University Athletics, women’s sports are catching up with men.

Key Moments in Women’s Sports History:

- 1974 - The women’s Professional Football league is formed.

- 1978 - The women’s professional Basketball League is formed.

- 1991 - The U.S. Women’s Soccer team wins the first ever women’s world championship.

- 1996 - The Women’s National Basketball Association is formed.

- 2000 - The first women’s football Super Bowl is played at Pasadena Stadium in Texas.

- 2009 - The Women’s Premier League Rugby is formed.

- 2012 - The National Women’s Soccer League is formed.

- 2015 - The National Women’s Hockey League announced they’d be the first professional league to pay women for playing hockey.

Disproportionate Representation and Compensation

- 40% of all sports participants are female, yet women’s sports receive only 4% of all sports media coverage.

- Women make up more than half of the population at NCAA schools; they only have a 44% athletic participation rate.

- At typical FBS schools, for every dollar spent on women’s sports, about two and a half dollars are spent on men’s sports.

- A study comparing coverage of ESPN’s SportsCenter and Fox Sports 1’s For Sports Live found that each program featured women’s sports coverage less than 1% of the time.

Expanding Popularity of Women’s Athletics

- Girls participation in high school sports has increased every year for 25 consecutive years reaching more than 3.26 million in 2013-2014, according to the NFHS.

- The women’s College World Series averaged almost 440,000 more viewers than the men’s College World Series.

- An average of 25.4 million fans in the U.S. watched the 2015 FIFA women’s World Cup.

- Women make up an estimated 45% of the NFL’s more than 150 million American fans.

Change is happening, slowly but surely. We can only hope to see a more even and equal opportunity for women’s sports in the future!

http://athleticadminonline.ohio.edu/resources/infographics/the-evolution-of-womens-sports/

 

Are You Smarter Than Another Fan?

11/05/2016 10:30 AM - Teahl Rice

 

We’re finding out so much about our players. It’s been great getting to know another side of them off the field. Have you been able to guess their answers? Are you like some of them? Let us know by tweeting at us!

This week we’re finding out a little more about Sami Fagan.

• Do you have pets/furbabies? - I have two kittens, King Julian and Ty.

• What’s your favorite junk food? - Andy's ice cream

• What’s your favorite pregame snack? - Starbucks

• What is the sound you love the most? - A fork scratching a plate

• Any tips for younger girls/fans? - Let adversity drive you to be the best. Don't feel bad about sacrificing a social life to dedicate time to your sport because it pays off.

• Cake or pie? - Cake

• Any favorite recipes worth sharing? - I have no idea how to cook

• If you could shop for free at one store, what store would you go to? - Nike outlet

• Who is your favorite person you follow on Twitter? - @fearlessmind_

• What’s your favorite Disney movie/character? - Simba

• What song do you have on repeat right now? - “I want it that way”

• Who is your favorite athlete? - Kevin Fagan because he played the game in a humble way, worked hard, and overcame a lot of obstacles to be one of the best defensive ends in the NFL.

• What’s the most bizarre question you’ve ever been asked? - I don't think anything is bizarre.

• Do you have any pet peeves? - When people tell me to chill or calm down, when people boss me around, crybabies.

• What’s your favorite holiday? - Christmas, because my whole family is together.

• If you could pick a different name what would it be? - Beth

• What’s your most embarrassing childhood story? - I don’t think anything is embarrassing.

• If you could ask your pet 3 questions what would they be? - What their favorite cat food was? What they wanted for their birthday? How much they love me?

• You’re stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things do you bring? - A bible, Starbucks store, food, water, a muscular beautiful man

 

It's Hard To Beat A Person That Never Gives Up

11/02/2016 12:00 PM - Teahl Rice

 

Off-Season training and strength conditioning is key to your season's success. Working on your weaknesses to make them your strengths, understanding that when you’re not working to improve the competition is, dedicating yourself to accomplishing your goals, and staying in shape is how you will ultimately find success and great pride! 

 

In the offseason you should dedicate a large portion of your time to conditioning your bodies. An athlete does not have to be sculpted to be the best, but they do have to be in shape. Being in shape means being healthy. Watch what you eat, workout 3-5 times a week, do a combination of sprints and long distance running weekly, set yourself up for greatness. 

 

Attitude. Attitude is what will drive you to be a strong player. Attitude is the backbone to becoming the best player on the field. If you set yourself up with a positive mind you will come out a positive player and teammate. Having a powerful mindset during the off-season is a true test to what kind of player and person you’ll be on the field.  

 

Skills. Skills. Skills. Working on your skills will be the most valuable thing a player can do in the off-season. Everyone has weaknesses, we’re only human. But working to turn those weaknesses into strengths is what makes a determined softball player great. Improve your throwing form, practice hitting drills, catch and release, work on footwork. Focus on what holds you back and let that push you forward into a successful softball career. 

 

If you’re not sure where to start check out this site full of tips to being the best version of you for the off-season!  

 

 

Are You Smarter Than Another Fan?

10/29/2016 11:00 AM - Teahl Rice

Test  your knowledge and see if you can guess what Shellie Robinson would say to these questions! Were you right? Were you wrong? Let us know by commenting on Facebook or tweeting at us on Twitter. We would love to hear how well you know our players!

* Do you have pets/furbabies? I have a German shepherd named Sadie and she loves her toys.

* What’s your favorite junk food? - My favorite junk food is probably warm chocolate chip cookies or ice cream.

* What’s your favorite pre-game snack? - My favorite pre-game snack is a wrap and a smoothie.

* What is the sound you love the most? - The sound I love most in the world would probably be the water. Whether it be the ocean, or a river or what not.

* Any tips for younger girls/fans? - Work hard and always know that there is room for improvement. Chase your dreams no matter how big they are and have confidence in yourself. You can do anything you put your mind to.

* Cake or pie? - Chocolate cake!

* Any favorite recipes worth sharing? My dad's lasagna is my favorite, but I don't have the recipe.

* If you could shop for free at one store, what store would you go to? - Anthropologie

* Who is your favorite person you follow on Twitter? - I don't really have a favorite person I follow on Twitter.

* What’s our favorite Disney movie/character? - My favorite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid.

* What song do you have on repeat right now? - I love Adele's song, "Send Your Love."

* Who is your favorite athlete? - My favorite athlete is probably Derek Jeter. He is just a great all-around athlete and he always gives everything he has and stays humble.

* Do you have any pet peeves? - I have a few pet peeves, but I am slightly OCD so I believe it comes along with that.

* What’s your favorite holiday? - My favorite holiday is Christmas. My mom always went all out with decorations and our family traditions are my favorite.

* If you could pick a different name what would it be? - I wouldn't pick a different name.

* You’re stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things do you bring? - I would bring a friend, my bible, fire starter, an axe, and a hammock.

 

Ten reasons why you need to watch the Racers

10/26/2016 11:20 AM - Teahl Rice

There’s an unlimited amount of reasons why you should come watch the Akron Racers… But we’ve narrowed it down to just ten.

1) The popcorn leaves the perfect taste of salty, buttery goodness in your mouth.

2) It doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg to come to a game.

3) You get to listen to your favorite jams while watching your favorite sports team.

4) Who wouldn’t want to high five a cheetah?

5) There’s not a bad seat in the house. No potato heads blocking your perfect view.

6) “Stadium traffic,” what’s that?

7) We’re fast-paced and energetic unlike some of the other sports. *wink, wink*

8) You get to breathe that quality fresh air and soak up some rays (not quite as much as you would get on a beach, but close enough).

9) Didn’t make it to happy hour? No problem. We’ve got you covered.

10) Are you a collector? Catch a foul ball and take it home. Make a memory last a lifetime!

Did we not hit some of your favorite reasons on why you watch the Akron Racers? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter and use the hashtag #weloveAkronRacers

 

Are You Smarter Than Another Fan?

10/22/2016 1:30 PM - Teahl Rice

We know you love the players as much as we do. That’s why we’ve dug deep and found out pretty cool things about some of the Akron Racers team. This week we’ve picked Kelley Montalvo’s brain to find out what she's into and some of her favorite things.

• Do you have pets/furbabies? - Yes I have a wiener dog, also known as a dachshund. His name is Charles; we also call him Charlie, Charles Barkley, Charlie Bronson, Charlster...

• What’s your favorite junk food? - Taco Bell or Anything Mexican… - Chips and queso/salsa/guac

• What’s your favorite pregame snack? - Rice cakes and almond butter.

• What is the sound you love the most? - The beach... waves, seagulls, boats.

• Any tips for younger girls/fans? - Don't let anyone say you can't do something. They don't know how big your heart is

• Cake or pie? - Cake - chocolate peanut butter or cookies and cream.

• Any favorite recipes worth sharing? - "Stuffed Peppers": ground turkey/beef, pepper (green/yellow/red/orange), Mexican blend cheeses, chopped onions, brown rice, black beans, guacamole

• If you could shop for free at one store, what store would you go to? - Dicks, Lids, Vitamin Shoppe, Urban Outfitters

• Who is your favorite person you follow on Twitter? - Ellen Degeneres, Joshua Medcalf, Eric Thomas

• What’s your favorite Disney movie/character? - Little Mermaid and Aladdin - Ariel and Jasmine

• What song do you have on repeat right now? - All Eyez - The Game ft. Jeremih

• Who is your favorite athlete? - Derek Jeter. He’s loyal to the game and has been one of the most inspirational men of baseball.

• What’s the most bizarre question you’ve ever been asked? - "How tall are you... really?" ... I wouldn't say bizarre, but I would say the most annoying and most common question. They ask like I am lying about it!

• Do you have any pet peeves? - Being interrupted in the middle of a story... Or someone who is always trying to have a "one up" on anything you say! For example: "I went to the Bahamas this weekend and it was so much fun...” Other person: "Oh, well I went to Paris and it's just so much better traveling overseas.”

• What’s your favorite holiday? - New Year's Eve .. I feel like it's a start over card. A new year and a chance to do things differently if not even better than the previous year.

• If you could pick a different name what would it be? - Something more Spanish since my name is the complete opposite of my heritage. Maybe like Veronica, Vanessa, or Mila…

• What’s your most embarrassing childhood story? - I fell in a fountain after my mom told me not to play around it... And it was in front of a busy downtown area with people walking by... And then had to walk back into the restaurant soaked.

• If you could ask your pet 3 questions what would they be? - Why are you always so tired when you don't really do anything all day? - How are you able to cover yourself with a blanket by just using your little nose? - Who's your favorite person in our family?

• You’re stranded on a desert, what 5 things do you bring? - Gym (weights), tanning oil, protein, music, bottomless chips and salsa

 

It's week four and we're running full force!

10/19/2016 12:00 PM - Teahl Rice

We're into week four with the Akron Racers and things are not slowing down for us interns. We've been working to create more partnerships with local business and to broaden our target audience.

The staff and I have collaborated to develop a plan that gets more engagment with a younger audience. The project gets middle school and elementary students to interact with the Akron Racers by having them participate in weekly activities tailored towards the players. Students who participate enough are rewarded with a field trip to Firestone Stadium for a day of fun-filled activities. This plan builds a relationship with the players while still gaining awarness and traffic to the Racers.

Another project that I'm working on is a community and team-driven video. We understand the fast, engaging fun the Racers offer and we want the public to see it, too. The video will bring more awareness of what Firestone Stadium offers and what we represent as a team and as a community.

The sales interns have been a full go these past four weeks as well. They've been working together to create lists of potential prospects that will help form relationships with local businesses. These partnerships will be mutually benefical in advertising and promotion amongst the Racers and local businesses.

That sums up our biggest projects thus far. Stay tuned to see what we're working on and how the projects are coming along!

 

Last, but not least...

10/12/2016 3:00 AM - Teahl Rice

Hello Racers fans!

Last week I introduced one of our ticket sales interns. This week I want to introduce our other intern, Olivia.

Olivia Ross is a senior marketing student at Kent State University. Along with working towards her marketing degree, she is on her way to obtaining a sales certificate.

Marketing has become a large part of Olivia's life and she's excited to further her passion in this line of work by interning with the Racers. Olivia hopes to gain exposure to business-to- business practices and be a positive team member as well.

As far as goals go, Olivia would like to see more season ticket holders. She said, "Season ticket holders are the base of the Akron Racers. If we have that steady flow of fans who consistently come to games, then we'll more than likely have other people follow them. Building customer relationships is something I definitely want to do more and improve on."

Besides loving the Akron Racers, Olivia enjoys getting in tune with her crafty side. She's an avid painter and loves to draw. Two other hobbies of hers include running and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Meet the ticket sales intern team!

10/05/2016 10:00 AM - Teahl Rice

Hello Akron Racers fans! I am happy to introduce one of our ticket sales intern, Julia Williams. Julia is a graduate from The College of Wooster with a degree in history. After interning with the Akron Racers she plans to attend graduate school for sports marketing or sports management.

She’s been actively involved in the sports field her entire life; even playing softball at a collegiate level. Julia hopes to gain experience and knowledge in the sports business profession through interning with the Akron Racers.

When asked what she hopes to accomplish here Julia said, “I want to see more local businesses partnering with the Akron Racers. We have a few partnerships already, but there are opportunities that we need to take advantage of with local Akron businesses.”

It’s no surprise that one of Julia’s hobbies is playing slow pitch softball. She also has a love for sports in general, specifically the Chicago Cubs. Besides sports, Julia also enjoys horseback riding and spending time with friends whenever she can.

Look out for great work from Julia!

Fall Interns Take Over

09/29/2016 1:45 PM - Teahl Rice

Hello Akron Racers Fans!

My name is Teahl Rice and I am the new PR intern for Fall 2016. With a love for sports, the outdoors and having fun, I am beyond excited to be apart of the Akron Racers team!

I’m a senior PR major at Kent State University. With my major I plan to work in the outdoor and recreation industry. AKA, I want to work for a company or firm involved in sports and recreation (traveling/lifestyle) .

I’ve worked throughout my entire college career, while also taking a full course load. I was the diversity beat reporter for the Kent Stater and I had a radio show on Black Squirrel Radio. This year I am working with the Student Multicultural Center at KSU in hopes of rebranding it to better attain diversity at Kent State.

My previous internship had me working with great clients and obtaining awesome experience in the PR field. I worked with both the Akron and Cleveland Marathon, the Tremont Festival, the Mansfield Reformatory, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and several weddings and event planners.

Other than being a diehard PR fanatic, I enjoy being a Buckeye, raising show cattle, cooking, five dollar movie Monday, and visiting friends and family as much as I can.

I’m looking forward to being apart of the Akron Racers and expect to see big things happen with the team! My goals for the Racers are gaining more awareness of the team in Northeast Ohio, getting A.J. Andrews on Ellen and the Today Show, and raising ticket sales so more people get to experience this amazing team.

Look out for more blog posts every Wednesday!

SEASON’S END IS FAST APPROACHING

08/02/2016 11:27 PM - Akron Racers

 

Hey Racers Fans!

Well, we have officially hit August, the month that will end the 2016 NPF season. I know we have all been dreading this, but the 15th Season of Play has been nothing short of an exciting roller coaster that has kept us all on the edge of our seats. In all reality though, where has this summer gone? It feels like just yesterday we were meeting Sami Fagan, Jailyn Ford and all the other rookies for the first time in June at Firestone Stadium. Have we really already had the celebration for the 15th season of play?

June and July were gone in the blink of an eye. We have three home games left and you don’t want to miss them! The final home stand of the regular season will begin on Monday, August 8, against the USSSA Pride. The series will not be three games in a row this time. The second game will be on Tuesday, August 9th and the last home game will take place Friday, August 12th.

So fans, put on that Schlopy jersey and come out to support the Racers during this bittersweet time before the playoffs start. Lastly, we want to acknowledge all the fans. Without the support of you all, there would not be a team called the Akron Racers. We want to thank every person who has come out to a game, shared a post on social media or simply recommended a friend that going to a Racers game is a great way to spend a Friday night.

We appreciate every single one of you! GO RACERS!

A look back at the 15th season celebration

07/19/2016 3:05 PM - Akron Racers

  

Fifteen Years. Fifteen incredible years that was all started because one woman had a vision to make a group of individuals’ dreams come true. Her name is Joey Arrietta and she became the first General Manager of the Akron Racers franchise in 1998, while completing her final two years of employment at the University of Akron.

 

Joey is nothing but special to everyone involved at Firestone Stadium. She puts her entire heart into the team and making sure every game is a fun experience for the fans that come out and support. She is looked at as the “mom” of the team and each player has a bond with her that doesn’t come around very often.

 

Joey wanted to make sure July 16, 2016 was a day the Akron Racers team, fans, coaches and staff will never forget. Saturday was a celebration for the Racers 15th season of play. Even though the team was not able to come out with a win, it was an amazing tribute to how far the team and league have come in the past decade.

 

The celebration started with a pregame meet and greet at 5:00 p.m. that the fans were able to attend. After, there was a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. that acknowledged past and present Racers honorees. Joey gave the stadium a speech about what the team means to her and then was presented with a gift by the players. The first pitch was thrown at 7:05 p.m. and after the game, a trailer was shown to everyone in the stadium for a movie coming out about the Akron Racers called Burn the Ships. Finally, to end the night, a party was thrown so that everyone could celebrate together. It was an unforgettable day for the Akron Racers family. 

READY FOR THE SECOND HALF TO BEGIN

07/06/2016 7:04 AM - Akron Racers

 

Hey Racers Fans!

 

As we head into the middle of the season, there are still plenty of games to attend.  After being on the road since last week, the Racers will be heading home this Friday for a two game series against the Scrap Yard Dawgs. This will be the first time this month the Racers will be playing at Firestone Stadium.

 

On July 8th it will be Safety Forces Night and Pepsi Kids Night at the stadium. Come out, bring your kids, grab a cold drink of Pepsi and learn how to be safe in different situations. There will be great promotions, games and giveaways throughout the game!

 

On July 9th the theme will be Social Media Night. Social Media has become huge in this generation! We rely on it for news, staying connected with friends and much more! Grab your IPhones and help us celebrate how social media has made an impact on this world!

 

As fans, your enthusiasm and support have been amazing recently and has not gone unnoticed! Come join the journey as the team strives to win their second NPF championship! The Racers are looking forward to seeing you back at Firestone Stadium this weekend!

 

 

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