Reborn KCPS Softball Wins Big in Kansas City Sports

Program honored at the WIN for KC Women’s Sports Awards on Feb. 7


Kansas City, February 6, 2020:  The revival of softball in Kansas City Public Schools has been a homerun cheered on by the entire community.

The Kansas City Sports Commission honored KCPS with one of its prestigious WIN for KC Women’s Sports Awards during an annual luncheon on Friday, Feb. 7 in the Kansas City Convention Center’s Grand Ballroom. The commission recognized the school system’s initiative to once again offer softball for high school girls.

Softball debuted last fall at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy after a four-decade absence. This was in large part due to the efforts of KCPS Assistant Athletic Director Meredith Doyle and Lincoln Prep head coach Elizabeth Fowler, both of whom will be at the luncheon to accept the award along with their players.

“For me, this award means that we achieved our objective, which was to be a champion for our students and give them an opportunity to experience this sport and plant something that will last for years,” Coach Fowler said. “We had the right reasons and the right girls and the right support. It all came together.”

High school softball is very popular in the Midwest, but there is relatively little representation among school districts with more diverse students, according to Fowler and Doyle. The opening of the softball and baseball facilities at Kansas City Urban Youth Academy also helped propel the push to re-introduce softball within KCPS.

“The interest was there and we just knew that we had to make it happen,” Doyle said. “The participation has been wonderful.”

The new team recruited 23 students to play in its debut season. Only three of them had softball experience, but that didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. For many of the girls, this was their first time playing an organized sport in high school.

“We had three objectives going into this season: have fun, learn and grow,” Fowler said. “They definitely met and exceeded all three of those objectives. This season was a win for all of us, and it’s only going to get better from here.”

The WIN for KC event is part of the National Girls and Women in Sports Day. It’s one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the nation, according to Doyle. Only six individuals or organizations will be receiving awards at the luncheon, where about 2,500 people were expected to be in attendance.

The addition of softball at Lincoln Prep is part of an overall push to expand opportunities for students to participate in athletics and other extracurricular activities across KCPS. The plan is to field softball teams at all KCPS high schools over the next three to five years, according to district Athletic Director James Sanders.

“The team at Lincoln Prep is really just the start for softball in Kansas City Public Schools,” Dr. Sanders said. “We’re already working with students and staff at the other high schools to lay the groundwork for their own teams.