Waretown Thunder Softball Club History  
  The Waretown Thunder evolved from the original 10U Waretown Mets (1999 Waretown Athletic Association), the 12U Waretown Piranhas (2000-2001 Waretown Girls Fast Pitch Softball League) and the short lived Stafford Sirens (2001 Independent), before settling in as it's own league in 2002. Participating in prior years as an individual 14U, 16U and 18U team in ASA Tournaments, PONY National Qualifiers, NSA National Qualifiers, and Babe Ruth Softball, the club started carrying the Waretown Thunder banner in 2005. Reemerging as a local league in 2008, we continue to grow each year. Although the names have changed throughout the years, the one constant has been our base in Waretown. Below is a brief history of our recent teams and we look forward to updating this page for many years to come.  
                                           
                                           
  The 2002 Squad, known as the Piranhas, were the first Ocean County Softball team to win a Babe Ruth SNJ State Championship. They paved the way for the Thunders future dominance of the SNJ Babe Ruth States. Pictured below after their 2002 14U State Championship win at Lindenwold, the squad went onto the Babe Ruth Softball 14U Middle Atlantic Regionals (another first) in Sparta, NJ where they finished off the season 1-2.  
 
 
  Although the faces of the 2003 squad changed quite a bit throughout the season, the nucleus, pictured below were the first to use the Thunder name. Competing as the South Jersey Thunder, they continued where the 2002 version left off, and then some. Pictured here during the 16U Babe Ruth States hosted in Waretown, the SJ Thunder captured their first 16U State Title and advanced to the Babe Ruth 16U Middle Atlantic Regionals in Randolph, NY. The 8 hour trip to the mountains near Buffalo, NY proved fruitful as the Thunder advanced to the finals before settling for 2nd place. The groundwork was set for a Regional Title in 2004 and a trip to the Babe Ruth 16U World Series in Abbeville, LA.  
 
 
  Arguably the most talented Thunder squad to date, the 2004 edition of the SJ Thunder reached heights that no one could have imagined possible. Finishing with a final record of 37-18 (.673), the SJ Thunder dominated Babe Ruth action, sweeping through the Districts, SNJ States and the Middle Atlantic Regionals undefeated. Winning the Regionals (another first), secured the club a trip to Abbeville, LA for the Babe Ruth 16U World Series. The Thunder continued their amazing run in Louisiana, going 3-1 in pool play before bowing out in 4th place after an extra inning loss to JPRD, 2-1. They still finished the World Series with a winning record of 4-3, with the entire state of NJ rooting on the girls from Ocean County. The SJ Thunder finished off the year by winning the 16U Lightning Tourney, just letting everyone know they were for real! Impressive Ball Club! Pictured after clinching the Regionals with an 11-4 win over Phoenixville, PA.  
 
 
  The 2005 edition of the Thunder were a team in transition throughout the entire campaign. Probably hungover from their grueling 2004 season, they were the first squad to carry the banner of the Waretown Thunder. They also were the first squad to compete at the 18U level. With the aging out of 16U of 4 veterans from the 2004 squad, the Thunder played in 18U Tournaments throughout the season before settling into the 16U Babe Ruth Schedule in July. They kept the tradition going by sweeping through the Districts and the States undefeated, before bowing out in the Middle Atlantic Regionals (in Liverpool, NY) to their arch enemy Phoenixville, PA, finishing in third place. This would be their last season together (all players back from the 2004 World Series appearance). It was a long grueling 18 months.  
 
 
  The 2006 edition, forged ahead into new waters once again. They were the first Thunder Squad to qualify for the PONY 18U World Series. The 16U squad were the first to lose the Babe Ruth 16U SNJ States but, showed their relentless work effort by coming back to win the 16U Babe Ruth Middle Atlantic Regionals, making it back to the Babe Ruth 16U World Series in Millville. Although they went 0-4 in the World Series, they were in every game, losing twice in extra innings including the classic opener against the host, going down 1-0 in 10 innings. Inconsistency was a problem for the squad but the experience they gathered......watch out in 2007!  
 
 
  The 2007 Waretown Thunder proved to be the final edition of the older girls teams, competing in 18U Tournaments throughout the Northeast. It was the first time in 10 years that the Waretown Thunder or some form of the Thunder did not compete in Babe Ruth Softball. Their plate was full and they were quite successful winning three tournaments and qualifying for World Series play in PONY, NSA and Triple Crown Sports. They were the first Thunder squad to compete in a PONY National Tournament, traveling to Youngstown, Ohio for a week long tournament, struggling throughout. They won only one game, but ended their season playing their best game to date, a 3-2 extra frame loss. Tied the Thunder record for most tournament wins in a season.  
 
 
  2008 was a new beginning for the Waretown Thunder Softball Club, re-organizing at the younger levels and competing in local league play, the club formed three teams, one each at the 8U, 10U & 12U levels. Traveling to other towns for competition, the "New" Waretown Thunder competed in the Babe Ruth Districts and hosted the Babe Ruth SNJ 8U & 14U States. The foundation is down for a continuation of the program that focuses on girls youth sports and fast pitch softball. And just for old time sake, the older crew dusted off their mitts to compete in the first ever Babe Ruth 18U Invitational in Toms River. They went 5-0 and brought home the crown, keeping intact the Thunder record of winning at least one tournament in each year since 2002.  
 
 
  2009 saw the Waretown Thunder Softball Club continue it's growth into a viable local softball league. Maintaining one team each at the 8U, 10U and 12U levels while growing in numbers, The Thunder continued it's Babe Ruth affiliation, competing in the SNJ District 4 Tournaments at seasons end at the 10U and 12U levels.The "new" Waretown Thunder combined with Berkeley Girls Softball at the 12U level, forming the "Beware" squad that competed in 2 tournaments, going to the finals in both. Their most impressive run, was coming out of the losers bracket in the Babe Ruth SNJ4 Districts, winning 5 in a row to get back to the finals. The fall program fielded a 12U and for the first time a 14U team, ensuring that the program is growing, ready to add another age group in 2010. With fresh new leadership in place, we look forward to a bright future. Did you say regionals?  
 
 
  The 2010 edition of the Waretown Thunder provided the league with its first-ever 12U SNJ District 4 crown, beating rival Egg Harbor Township in the title game, behind great pitching and sound defense. The Thunder then nearly pulled off the impossible in the SNJ state event by losing its opener and then emerging from the losers' bracket to make it all the way back to the championship round, where they finally succumbed to host Hamilton Township.
Since the Waretown Babe Ruth League hosted the Mid-Atlantic Super Regional, the Thunder had an automatic berth in the event. TheThunder won its opening game, 15-5, against Charles County, the Maryland representative, before losing to the Levittown (Long Island) Athletic Club, the Metro New York state champs, 8-4, and then being ousted by old foe Hamilton, 6-1, in the double-elimination event. Hamilton went on to win the Regionals and represented the Mid-Atlantic region in the 12U World Series in Florida. The Thunder finished with a 14-8 record overall on the tournament trail.
 
 
 
  We got a glimpse of the future with the 2011edition of the Thunder. The league expanded again, growing to one team in each division, 6U-8U-10U-12U-14U-16U. The Thunder 16UTT, although a young squad, comprised mostly of 13 and 14-year-olds, surged to a 14-2 recreation record. They struggled mightily in tournament play, waiting 10 games to crack into the win column and posting a 4-19 record. Soon after, the club found its footing and went on to take the District 4 SNJ crown by beating Egg Harbor in the deciding game of the best-of-three championship series. The squad then had a fine showing in the state tournament, making it to the championship round, where they fell short to Millville, an eventual semifinalist in the Mid-Atlantic Regional. Included in the Thunder's 2-2 record in the state event was a five-run comeback victory and a pressure-packed nailbiter, a sign that the club turned the corner and is ready for the challenges of tomorrow.  
 
 
    In 2012, the league continued its strong presence in the community, fielding one team in the 6U-8U-10U-14U-16U divisions and two squads in the 12U division. Meanwhile, the Thunder 16U travel team made some noise on the local, state, regional and countrywide levels by capturing the District 4 SNJ crown for a second straight year and then placing second in the state event to Hamilton. They qualified for the Mid-Atlantic Regionals and was the runner-up to old nemesis Hamilton in Charles County, Md. Darren Mooney's troops received an invitation to the World Series in Wilson County, N.C. After going 1-3 in pool play and failing to qualify for the championship bracket, the squad made a strong run in the Wilson Cup, a consolation event, and wound up finishing second after a 9-2 loss to Washington, N.C. En route to the title game, the Thunder recorded two heart-stopping victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals that will long be remembered by the players and coaching staff and should become part of Thunder lore.  
 
 
  16U 2014 World Series Web Site

16U 2014 World Series Facebook Page

Meet the Waretown Thunder 2014 16U team

Video Links of the 2014 16U Babe Ruth Softball World Series

Coming soon! Full game video of all World Series Games!
 
 
 
                                           
                                           
 

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