Coaches: Charlie Ball & Joe DiFilippo
In the Spring of 2013 the Banshee’s 18U team & the Thunderbirds 18U teams merged. This merger brought together two very successful 18U programs who both have a long tradition of playing successful competitive softball. The Thunderbirds began in 1994 founded by current 18U coach Charlie Ball. The Banshee’s began in 1987 & the most recent 18U team was coached by Joe DiFilippo. It was decided to keep the Thunderbirds legacy alive by keeping the Thunderbirds name for the 18U team. The team is very excited about the 2015 season which will include attending two of the premier East Coast 18U showcase events (the Pennsbury Invitational & the TNT summer showcase).
Our 18U program has been successful on & off of the field. Many of the current & former 18U players have gone on to successful high school & college softball careers. The current 18U roster includes many varsity high school starters some of which are already committed to play in college.
The Thunderbirds Softball Organization started in 1994. The first year in existence, the team had players mainly form the Harleysville area and played in small ASA – B -tournaments. The team was coached by Charlie Ball, Frank Barder and Brian Wasser. Players ranged in age from thirteen to fifteen and played in the sixteen and under division.
After that first season, the team realized the need to attract players from the surrounding areas in order for the program to grow. By going outside the area and getting players from the surrounding areas, the program expanded and became more competitive. With the original players getting ready to move to the older division, two more age groups were added. With the three teams, the Thunderbirds started to become a name in the world of softball. With players coming from Lansdale, Norristown, Glenside, Hatfield, Gwynedd, North Wales and Harleysville, the Thunderbirds started playing in stronger tournaments and traveling further from their hometown. With the addition of increased talent and an intense schedule, the Thunderbird’s name became known and began to draw the attention of colleges in the area.
In 2001 the Thunderbirds reached another milestone, with the addition of a 12&U team. The Thunderbirds now have a 12 & under, 14 & under, 16 & under and 18 and under teams. Also in 2001, the 18 & Under played there most competitive schedule since the organization started. Competing in ASA States, three ASA Qualifiers, The Pegasus Tournament, The Blue/Gray Tournament, Eastern College Showcase and their own tournament. In 2001 and 2003 the Thunderbirds added another 18&U team. This 18&U team lasted for two seasons until all the players had gone through the Thunderbirds Organization. At the end of 2003 season the organization felt it would be better to go back to one team at the 18&U age group. In 2002 the Thunderbird teams enjoyed their best season. The 16&U won many of the tournaments and the 18&U Thunderbirds Red won three major tournaments, NSA States and went 24&0 during one section of the season. They qualified for NSA, Pony, and ASA Nationals.
In 2004 the Thunderbird Organization had a set back that could have hurt the program for a number of years. The 16&U team left and formed their own team leaving a hole in the organization and the 18&U looking for players. The organization rebounded in Thunderbird style and regrouped a new 16&U team with a new head coach Mr. Joe Fernandez. The new 16&U Thunderbirds responded with a very successful season. The 18&U also rebounded with a very nice season.
In 2005 the Thunderbird Organization moved ahead and is bigger and stronger than ever. They restarted the 12&U program and added a new 13&U team which is made up of young players that have never played travel softball. This team was organized to give these players a chance and hopefully become strong travel players.
In 2006 the Organization continued to grow with a 12U, two 14U, 16U and two 18u teams. The 18U team coached by Charlie Ball went to the Midwest and played in the USSSA National tournament. This was a tournament with teams from all over the country. The team finished ninth and was one out from fifth place.
In 2007 the Organization stayed with same teams in the age brackets and all had very successful seasons. Again the 18U Elite had a banner year the team went 59-9-3.
In 2008, 2009 2010 the teams all remained and players moved through the organization as age permitted.
In 2010-2011 season the Thunderbirds take on a new look. The teams are 12, two 14 and one 18U. The 18U plays showcase tournaments and National tournaments. Many players are moving from the 14U to the 18U.
In 2013 the Thunderbirds joined with the Banshees. The Thunderbirds remain the 18U and the younger ages are the Banshees. The two organization are two of the most respected in the area. The 18u is coached by the same Thunderbirds coaches with the addition of Joe Difillipo from the Banshees.
All the Thunderbirds team will compete in many of the best tournaments in the area. The Thunderbirds are funded strictly by the player’s registration fee, fundraising and sponsorship of the local businesses in the area.
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- 18U Thunderbirds compete in Florida! Congratulations to the 18u Thunderbirds for recently competing at D9 Sun Classic Fall 2016 in Florida! Read more
- 18U Thunderbirds – 2016 ASA/USA Eastern National Champions! Congratulations to the 18U Thunderbirds! Playing in York PA the 18U Thunderbirds win the 2016 ASA/USA Eastern National Championship! Great job! Read more
- 2016 Committed Seniors The Banshee’s & Thunderbirds would like to acknowledge the 2016 committed seniors. Congratulations we are very proud of your accomplishments. Read more
- 18U Banshee’s/Thunderbirds finish strong! Attached is a team picture of the 18U Thunderbirds from ASA A Nationals tournament in LaPlata, MD. The team went 5-3 & ended up finishing 5th overall. Nice work ladies! Read more
- 2015 Committed Seniors The Banshee’s & Thunderbirds would like to acknowledge the 2015 committed seniors. Congratulations we are very proud of your accomplishments. Read more