New Yorks Only Diamond Sport Champion Ready to Take the Field in June
New York, NY January 20, 2005 League officials have announced new ownership for the New York/New Jersey Juggernaut franchise of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF). John Schmitz of Long Island, NY has officially purchased the ball club, and will resume team operations in midtown Manhattan. In just their second year of operating as the NPF, the nations only womens professional fastpitch softball league, individual team owners have assumed complete ownership of the league from its original investors, the Cowles family. Heading the management of the league is Chicago Bandits owner and new NPF president, Bill Conroy.
The Juggernaut were one of six inaugural teams in the NPF, who captured the Cowles Cup after defeating New England in the championship game of the playoffs last year in Akron, Ohio. The Juggernaut played their 2004 season on the campus of Montclair State University in Little Falls, NJ, finishing the regular season with a 39-21 record. Julie Smith, 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, has been appointed the General Manager and Head Coach of the 2005 squad. Smith, the two-time first team All-American from Fresno State University and a native of Glendora, California, will oversee all business and fastpitch operations for the franchise, bringing a vast knowledge of fastpitch to the restructured Juggernaut. Smith, a former WPSL All-Star, is excited to once again join the ranks of professional softball, but this time from the other side of the baseline. "I am proud to be a part of the World Champion Juggernaut. Our goal is not only to field the best team, but to serve our community by promoting a healthy lifestyle for girls and women participating in sports. In this day and age, professional sports need great role models that extend past the core fundamentals of the game. The Juggernaut, and in fact the entire NPF, have just that; successful college graduates who want to give back to their community. Jennifer Carlo, former director of media relations for the 2004 Juggernaut, will serve as the Assistant General Manager for the club, working on a broadcast deal for the 2005 season and managing corporate sponsorship.
The Juggernaut have announced the signing of two members from the 2004 squad, third baseman and Long Island native, Jaclyn Pasquerella and second baseman and El Cajon, California native, Carri Leto. Pasquerella and Leto, both 2004 NPF All-Stars, played an integral part in leading the Juggernaut to their first world championship. Leto, a 2004 Northwestern graduate, recently completed the USA Softball National Camp tryout and is very eager to wear her pinstripes and defend the NPF crown. "I am thrilled to be playing for the Juggernaut again this season. It will be a great opportunity to start a legacy as a franchise and as a team. I look forward to playing under Julie Smith, as I respect her a lot as a former player. Our fan base was great last season and hopefully it will continue to explode into 2005!"
Other athletes joining the squad include former Hofstra University All-American, outfielder Alicia Smith, and two former NPF California Sunbirds, Kim Ogee and Jodie Cox. Ogee, an All-American outfielder from the University of Nebraska, was twice named the Cornhuskers Offensive Player of the Year and served as the team captain in 2003. Cox, a dominant left-handed pitcher, graduated from Cal-State Fullerton in 2003 and currently serves as the assistant coach at Syracuse University. As a senior Titan, Cox was selected a third-team All-American and Big West Co-Pitcher of the Year.
The Juggernaut plan to release the 2005 schedule, complete roster and ticket information by the end of the month. For more information on the NY/NJ franchise of NPF, please call 212-907-6561 or visit the Juggernaut online at www.nynjjuggernaut.com
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names Womens Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Womens Pro Softball League (WPSL). Visit the league website at www.profastpitch.com
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Jennifer Carlo, NY/NJ Juggernaut (212) 907-6561 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Online at: www.nynjjuggernaut.com