DALLAS/FT. WORTH - DFW Express President Mike Cress and American Freedom Softball founder and national program director Tim Soefje announced a joint cooperation agreement between the two organizations effective Saturday, November 4, 2017.
The new name of the fastpitch softball branch of the organization will be the American Freedom Express.
DFW Express is located in the largest indoor facility in the DFW area. The Railyard at ISA has over 36,000 square feet of instructional turfed area. It is located at 745 West Hurst Boulevard, Hurst TX 76053.
DFW Express Director of Softball Operations Kevin Blaskowski will assume the day-to-day operations of the American Freedom Express with oversight over all American Freedom teams as the AF National Program Director.
Blaskowski also will assist Soefje with coaching responsibilities of the 18u American Freedom Express Gold team.
Blaskowski joined DFW Express in October 2017 after a 25-five-year career as one of the top collegiate head coaches in NCAA Div. II, including winning the 2014 NCAA Div. II National Championship while at West Texas A&M University. During his college career, he has amassed an overall record of 819-523.
Blaskowski was named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and Captain U National Coach of the Year in 2014. He has been named the Lone Star Conference Coach Of the Year three times, and in 2016, was named the NFCA’s South Central Region Coach of the Year.
Blaskowski is considered one of the top offensive coaches in NCAA Division II softball. His teams perennially led the country in numerous offensive categories. Blaskowski’s teams hit over 100 home runs in 2014 and 2015. Only eight times has a team hit over 100 home runs in NCAA Division II. West Texas A&M is the only program to do it twice.
In 2015, 2016 and 2017, West Texas A&M led the nation in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and walks. In 2014, 2015 and 2017, they led the nation in total home runs and home runs per game. In 2017, they were second in the nation in scoring, total doubles hit, and doubles hit per game.
The American Freedom Softball Club was founded in 2006 as a single 12u team, and the organization quickly grew into one of the country's top travel softball clubs with more than 40 teams competing in eight states.
The American Freedom currently fields nationally- and regionally-competitive teams in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, East Texas, El Paso, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
The AF program’s coaches include former NCAA Div. I head coaches, NCAA All Americans, former major league baseball players, and state-champion high school coaches.
The 2017 Triple Crown/US College Player Index (CPI) currently ranks the American Freedom 14th nationally and 4th in Texas. The Triple Crown CPI tracks the nation's top travel clubs' actual placement of players in NCAA Div. I and II college programs during the last five years.
As a result, the American Freedom participates in some of the country’s top tournaments and college showcases events, including Premier Girls Fastpitch, IDT Boulder, Triple Crown Colorado Fireworks/Sparkler, Triple Crown/USA National Championships, PGF Surf City, Atlanta Legacy, and Ronald McDonald.
American Freedom players compete at the highest national level and receive college exposure opportunities unattainable by many other travel club's players.
In just 8 years of 18u Gold-level play, the American Freedom teams around the country have signed and verballed an impressive 75-plus players to NCAA Div. I programs and more than 200 players to college programs overall.
Former American Freedom players have competed on the PAC-12, SEC, Big XII, American Conference, Conference USA, Sunbelt, Southland, Missouri Valley, and other top mid-major Div. I conferences. AF players also have proudly played for nationally-ranked schools in some of the NCAA Div. II power conferences, including the Lone Star, Heartland, and Great American Conferences.
The American Freedom also has had alumae compete on the Great Britain National Team and Canadian Jr. National Team.
The DFW Express recently announced plans to build their softball organization with teams in all age groups from 8u-18u. The addition of the American Freedom organization creates a nationally-competitive division that could have as many as 16-18 teams in the DFW region ranging in age groups from 10u to 18u with an unlimited number of teams throughout the country.
Plans include a state and regionally competitive division with 20-24 teams located in the DFW area and teams throughout the state of Texas. Additionally, there will be another division for DFW area, “recreational teams” to develop and compete in leagues managed by the organization.
Throughout the organization, it is DFW Express’ philosophy to provide their members with the best opportunities for development and competition.
DFW Express and the American Freedom will partner in sponsoring instructional and showcase camps and clinics for softball players at every level, instructional coaching clinics for travel and high school coaches, along with competitive and showcase tournaments.
The American Freedom currently conducts some of the top regional college showcase and college clinics, including the American Freedom Div. I & II College Clinics and AF Summer & Fall Exposure Invitationals. The intent is to expand greatly on these events throughout the DFW Metroplex, Texas, and the Southwest.
They will also offer strength and conditioning programs along with nutritional workshops and mentoring opportunities from current and former collegiate players and coaches for their members.
The DFW Express mantra is – “It’s More Than Softball!!”
The Railyard at ISA
745 West Hurst Blvd.
Hurst TX 76053