NFCA Convention, 2019 NFCA Convention, NFCA Awards Brunch, Gretta Melsted, Augustana

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – There was an energetic buzz on the final day of the 2019 NFCA Convention as the four-day event came to end on Saturday at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. Over 1,450 attendees celebrated their peers at the Awards Brunch, took home some final notes during “Drills, Drills, Drills” and the Chalk Talks and finalized some business at the All-America Committee meetings.

Wrapping up the business portion of the Convention at 8:00 a.m., several of the membership groups gathered for their respective All-America Committee meetings to discuss the makeup and streamlining of the NFCA’s All-America process.

Coaches headed over to the second “Drills, Drills, Drills” session as Georgia Tony Baldwin (hitting), South Carolina’s Beverly Smith (pitching) and Boston University’s Ashley Waters (Infield) provided tips and drills in their areas of expertise.

The brunch celebrated coaching achievement over a hearty breakfast as coaches were honored for their achievements on and off the field. Easton/NFCA Assistant Coaches of the Year, NFCA Regionaland National Coaching Staffs of the Year, NFCA Victory Club, Turface Athletics / NFCA Fields of the Year, outgoing NFCA Board of Directors, Easton/NFCA Top 10 Academic Teams, NFCC Four-Star Awards, NFCA Pitching and Hitting endorsements, Mary Nutter Convention Scholarship recipients (Marissa Leslie, Shepherd / Megan Warren, Defiance / Michelle Wiley, Gannon), Geri Ann Glasco Memorial Scholarship recipient (Vada Blue Sherrill, Pfeiffer), Diversity Grant winner (Felix Agosto, Philadelphia Legacy), Humanitarian Award (Joelle Della Volpe, Immaculate Conception HS) and Donna Newberry "Perseverance" Award (Bari Mance, St. John Fisher).

Following brunch, Chalk Talks took place, giving attendees an opportunity to gain knowledge on four different topics in 30-minute sessions. Leading the way were Florida SouthWestern’s Robert Iamurri in “Think Outside the Box to Keep Your Lefties Inside the Box,"New Haven’s Jen Starek "Elite Catching Drills,” Texas Tech’s Adrian Gregory’s  “Building Mental Toughness” and the duo of NCAA Softball Secretary-Rules Editor Vickie Van Kleeck and NCAA National Umpire Coordinator Craig Hyde with “Know the Rules: 2020-21 NCAA Rule Book Education.”

Taking it home with the final session was Pitt’s Jodi Hermanek and her topic "Five Ways to Build Your Program Using Technology" presented by NFCA Official Sponsor, Diamond Kinetics. Prior to her speaking, Ursuline College (Susan Woodford), North Shore Senior High School (Houston, Texas) (Kelsea Svochak) and Virginia Unity (Jenny Park) were recognized as the winners of the 2019 Diamond Kinetics Technology Scholarship.

Make sure to come back in 2020 as the NFCA Convention will be Dec. 9-12 in Dallas, Texas.

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