Reagan Neville made a name for herself both nationally and internationally
TEMPLETON — The Templeton Eagle Softball team cruised their way through most of the Mountain League this season and only have more superstars in their pipeline, starting with local seventh-grader Reagan Neville. She has made a name for herself not just nationally but internationally. Neville, who will eventually wear green and white, has already represented two countries in international competitions.
The young phenom’s start came back in 2018 when she attended a Nike US Sports softball camp in Santa Barbara and quickly began turning heads. After completing the camp, Neville, who was only nine years old at the time, was asked to join the US Sports Nike Team USA 12u team. Later that season, as the youngest girl on the team by more than a year, she traveled to Australia with the team for a competition.
Once she returned to the states, she was hooked on softball and has pursued it constantly with a bit of help from her parents. Following her play with the Nike Team USA, Neville began playing softball a little closer to home, only making three and four-hour trips to northern and southern California.
“I am always trying to think of the best parts of the game and what makes it fun for me,” Neville says of her mentality towards softball. “I play my best when I am having fun. I have a lot of fun hitting; when I am fielding, I get a little nervous because I get mental errors, but I try to block it out and have fun and cheer on my teammates.”
Last year Neville was selected to play in one very prestigious and fun softball tournament, the Triple Crown Softball International Tournament. Still, she was unable to play as the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this year the tournament returned and was played last weekend with Neville representing the North County, but not for the team, you might think!
While she has represented Team USA and will do so more in the future, the Templeton native was able to play for Team Great Britain. In order to play, athletes needed to prove they’re a citizen via birth or have a mother/father or grandmother/ grandfather born in that country. It just so happens that Neville’s grandmother was born in England.
Not only did Neville represent another country, but she once again competed against older girls as the tournament was for 18u, making her the youngest player in the whole tournament by a couple of years. However, she once again proved the lights weren’t too bright, getting a hit in her first at-bat and scoring the first run for her team over the weekend. Team Great Britain would finish as runner-ups in the Triple Crown International Tournament.
The excitement of the summer is just beginning for the girl who has her sights set on the Olympics one day. After the tournament, Neville will be heading to the Professional Girls Fastpitch Nationals in Huntington Beach before then making a trip to Oklahoma for the USA Softball All-American Games. Neville was one of only six players selected from the Central Coast to represent California.