GA Power Mission Statement
To provide an environment in which each player has the opportunity to develop individual fast pitch softball skills and enhanced mental preparation through sound teaching of success proven fundamentals and game competition.
- No coach, player or team representative will be allowed to compromise the integrity of the program, or violate the articles of the program by-laws.
- Personal agendas are secondary to team objectives.
Each team will conduct an “open” tryout(s) each off-season to allow any girl who wishes to go through the tryout process.
- Coaches, players and team representatives must be committed to the long-term objectives of the program.
Coaches, players and team representatives will treat each other with respect.
- Academic success and social development are essential to the overall success of the program.
- There will be a zero tolerance level for individuals who insist on violating the policies and procedures outlined in the “Parent/Player” agreement contract.
- Coaches, players and parents are expected to conduct themselves in a positive manner when representing the program.
- All funds, raised or donated, for the teams in the program will be spent solely on team operating expenses.
We will make every effort to provide an atmosphere in which coaches, players and parents will work collectively in the best interest of the program.
- We will NOT offer “guarantees” of playing time or position(s) to players or parents. Players will be taught the value of competing for playing time at practices and during games.
- A commitment to the philosophy of the “process of preparation” prior to games is critical to the long-term development of each player.
- Build a staff of coaches, at every level, who possess a high level of positive energy, strong moral fiber and are dedicated to team goals over any personal agendas
- Develop a consistent theory of success proven fundamentals, training techniques, discipline, values of sportsmanship, and game strategy throughout the program.
- Promote a theory that “team success far outweighs individual achievement”.
- Develop a program in which each girl is afforded the opportunity to enhance her skills, and receive the exposure and support necessary to play at the highest level.
- When players within the program are approaching high school graduation, a exposure plan will be instituted to assist in gaining recognition and admission to an appropriate college institution.
- Each year our age groups teams will attempt to qualify for play in the ASA National Tournament first. Failure to qualify will allow the respective team to play in another officially sanctioned (NSA, USFA, AFA, USSSA, etc.) National Tournament.
- Retain as many returning players and coaches as possible to the Program, with the understanding that players often change teams based on the amount of playing time they may have, or have not, received during the previous season.
The Georgia Power Softball Club was founded in the fall of 2009 by Coach Ernie Yarbrough, and played their first season in the spring of 2010. The “GAP” fielded five teams in the inaugural season. The five inaugural managers were Keith Perry (10U), Terry Pealor (12U), Coach Ernie (14U), and Gerald Miller (14U), and Mike Bell (16U).
Also, in 2009 the Georgia Academy Power Baseball Club (2 teams- 15YO and 16YO) was started by Ryan Christenson who played 6 season in Majors. In 2001, he won a World Series ring with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2013 Coach Christenson was hired to coach in the Oakland A’s Organization which is where he also started his career as a player. It was at this time that the GAP Baseball program temporarily hibernated, however in the fall of 2016 GAP Baseball was re-introduced with two teams managed by Adam Fussell/ Jay Worley (10YO), and David Mathena/ Paul Ericson (15YO).
Each subsequent year the Program has added teams in each age group and has grown each year since its inception in 2009. At the 10th Anniversary mark the Club had 18 softball teams and 8 baseball teams. The popularity of the Program is a direct result of the overall philosophy that “the kids come first”. Simply put, this philosophy presents a position of all involved that the focus will remain on the development of the players on and off the field. Through 30+ years of coaching at all levels, Coach Ernie had always believed in the pursuit of success proven fundamentals on the field while experiencing positive life lessons to be carried into the future. Coach Christenson stated the mission is “to instill character-building values in the youth of today through baseball and softball by creating an environment which motivates and encourages participation in sports, academics and life.”
GAP is proud that dozens of young athletes who have worn the red-white-and blue in the past decade have gone on to play at the collegiate level. The Program works very hard to develop, market, and place our players at a school where they can pursue their educational goals while continuing their softball careers. Coach Ernie had always professed “there is a good fit for any athlete who wants to continue to play this game at the next level, and it is our responsibility to help find that fit”.
Each year the GAP recognizes some very special individuals with two prestigious awards. First, the Stephanie Phillips Award is given to one player from each team in the Program who exhibits the characteristics of dedication, sacrifice, and commitment. Stephanie was a young lady whose life was taken at a young age by cancer. The second is the GAP Contributors Award. This award is named in honor of Neil Fuller and is given following each season to an non-playing individual who has displayed a tremendous level of commitment to the overall success of the entire Program. Neil played a huge role in the development of the Program from its conception until his untimely passing. Additionally, each year during the Christmas holiday season the Program selects a family, group, or charity to contribute to in the form of gifts, involvement, and monetary donations.
The Georgia Academy Softball Club and Baseball Club continues to provide a tremendous opportunity for young athletes and their FAMILIES to be a part of something special, yet unlike some of the highly visible programs in the region who place a greater emphasis on those who endorse themselves as the “promoters of the brand”. We are, and always will be, a Program that promotes the best interest of the kids first, with hopes that the families will enjoy the experience.
In the Fall of 2016, the Club introduced its mascot, the almighty and POWERful Pachyderm affectionately known as “Ernie The Elephant” or “EY” for short. Its origins are tied to several important things that make it relevant to the Club. The Elephant is known as the most powerful mammal on land, aka the Diamond, it’s the unofficial mascot of the Oakland A’s, it’s the hometown mascot of longtime Club Chairman, Jay Worley. He stated that while some clubs considered us the “Elephant in the Room” much like the A’s were referred to as the “White Elephant” of the 1900’s…success has come every step of the way with our lucky mascot! Whatever the real reason is will probably never to told, but regardless it is a part of our rich history now.
Board of Directors
ADVISORY BOARD (2019-21)
Chairman- Jose Tunon
Vice Chairman- Eric Forbes
Secretary- Lynne Russell
Treasurer- Alicia Lanier/ Assistant Treasurer- Matt Gillespie
Consultant- Danny Gershwin
At Large- Adam Fussell
At Large- Matt Goins
EXECUTIVE BOARD (2019-20)
18U- Jay Worley
16U- Jose Tunon
14U- Simon Holland
12U- Corey Rogers
10U- Kirk Reid
COMMITTEE CHAIRS (2019-20)
Document Committee: Lynne Russell
Visibility Committee: Jackson Murphy
Events Committee: Executive Committee share these
Spirit Wear/ Uniform Committee: Jay Worley
Program Purpose Compliance: Eric Forbes