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Carolina Titans are back in action

Last week, the Titans 14u team competed in the Summer Blast tournament in Fayetteville, where they went undefeated and outscored their opponents 20-4.
Contributed photo

LAUREL HILL — The Carolina Titans softball program has been able to return to the diamond the past couple of weeks after rain caused them to miss out on some opportunities.  

Last week, the Titans 14u team competed in the Summer Blast tournament in Fayetteville, where they went undefeated and outscored their opponents 20-4.

For the most part, the organization has remained under the radar, but they have been collecting a lot of hardware over the past few years and have produced many skilled high school athletes in the region. 

The organization, based in Laurel Hill, is comprised of three teams — a 12u team, a 14u team, and the 16u USA Titans Elite. The Elite team is currently made up primarily of the 14u players and they participate in the more competitive events which often feature older, high school-aged opponents.

“Even though we play in a high school division, these are not high school girls,” said head coach and co-manager Robert Ramos. “Our Elite team is eighth-graders playing high school kids. We put a lot of emphasis on the small important things like fielding correctly and proper throwing mechanics. We aren’t all about winning; we want them to play better once they get into high school and on into college.”

The program currently boasts around 30 players who come from Scotland, Richmond, Robeson, Cumberland, and Lee counties, as well as Marlboro County in South Carolina. There are several ladies on the Titans’ rosters who competed in the Southeastern Middle School Athletic Conference. In fact, when Carver Middle School hosted Rockingham Middle for the SEMSAC softball title game in May, 10 of the game’s participants (six from Carver, four from Rockingham) were part of the Titans program.  

Sydney Smith (Rockingham Middle), Ashton Alexander (Rockingham Middle), Chaslie Holden (Cordova Middle), Macy Steen (Rockingham Middle), Christi Jacobs (Hamlet Middle), Jakayla Steele (Hamlet Middle), and Keyoni Nichols (Rockingham Middle) are some of the Richmond County athletes who have participated as part of the Titans program.


Hamlet Middle School’s Christi Jacobs is one of several Richmond County players with the regional softball team the Carolina Titans. (Photo: Deon Cranford)


Both Ramos and co-manager Angela Newton have daughters who play for the team — Irlyn Ramos and Summer Newton. Those two, along with Laela Oxendine, have been with the program since the beginning. Smith has also been with the team for several years, sharing pitching duties with Ramos for the 14u and Elite teams.

“My daughter (Summer) has played for Robert since she was about 4 years old,” said Angela Newton.  “Robert runs a fair organization. I trust him 100% in everything he does. He does the coaching and I try to do everything I can on the business side of things. It works.”

Ramos and Newton started the program together and made it a goal to provide this opportunity for the girls without it being too expensive for the players and their families. By cutting compensation to the coaching staff, accepting time and monetary donations, and putting together an active fundraising plan, the Titans’ dues are a small fraction of what many travel ball athletes pay.

“Many girls can’t afford to play travel ball. It gets expensive,” Ramos explained. “We don’t ask them for a lot of money, we do it all ourselves. We don’t have fancy facilities; we don’t have top-notch trainers. All we have is each other.

“We try to create as many opportunities for them to learn and grow as players as we can,” Ramos continued. “We’ve had people from Barton College and Salem College come out and put on clinics for us.  We’ve even had two NFL players come out and work with the girls on speed and agility. We don’t go out and recruit the best players around, we build our own players, and we’ve been successful.”

With several of the Titans transitioning from middle school to high school in August, it is going to create opportunities for new players to join the program. The Titans will hold tryouts on Aug. 17 in Laurel Hill. For more information, visit the Carolina Titans Facebook page or call 910-706-7272.