Nation 18u: 3rd place out of 92 teams in the Colorado Sparkler!
Coach Sharee McBraun (Fonoti) is originally from Ewa Beach, Hawaii. She earned a full-ride scholarship to play softball at the University of Utah from 2005-2009, where she was the only Ute to start and play in every single game during her 4 years there. Sharee played shortstop and added depth offensively to the lineup as a power hitter and her short game versatility at the plate. She has a true passion for defense, evidenced by her smooth hands, strong arm, and quick footwork. Amy Hogue describes Sharee as a true gamer and relentless competitor. Sharee was voted team captain by her teammates her Senior year at the U, earned All-academic Honors each of her 4 years, and was awarded Utah defensive player of the year her Freshman year. During her Sophomore season, Sharee was second on the team in home runs, helped her team earn the Mountain West Conference Championship, and placed 2nd in Regionals, behind the University of Texas. Sharee was recruited at the Fireworks tournament in Aurora, Colorado. Sharee also played on a Hawaii Select team in college, and played against the USA Softball Team. After college, Sharee was offered the opportunity to play overseas, but decided to begin her career instead.
In 2008, Sharee earned her Bachelors Degree in Parks and Recreation with an emphasis in Sports Management. While at the U, she also completed a one-year internship as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. For the past 10 years, Sharee has taught private lessons, camps, and clinics for players of all skill levels. Her successful coaching career began 5 years ago as an assistant coach at West High School. After 3 seasons at West High, she transitioned into accelerated softball and coached for the Utah Firecrackers organization for 2 years.
Sharee then moved on to start the Nation Softball Organization. After 8 short months with a successful first year organization, The Her Goal Your Goal foundation has made Sharee the first Softball Ambassador to help enhance female athletics.
Sharee has gained valuable experience over the years as a coach. Her favorite part is seeing how excited her players get when things click, and they realize their unlimited potential and are proud of their hard work. Sharee enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for softball and is motivated to develop these young athletes into great players, but most importantly, into strong and confident YOUNG WOMEN!
Coach Ned Heitz earned his Master’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Utah in 1998. His research focused on female non-contact ACL injuries and is cited in current medical and sport science journals to this day. From 1998 through 2002, he was a Strength and Conditioning Coach for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association. During the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, he worked with the US Olympic Snowboard Team, whose athletes won 5 Olympic medals. From 2003 through 2007, Ned was a member of The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH) Sport Science Team. During this time, he managed an elite sport performance training facility at The Olympic Oval, working with athletes of all sports, from youth-levels through professional levels. His experience working with athlete performance training is extensive, as is his experience working with athletes through injury prevention and rehabilitation. Ned entered the education field in 2007 and taught Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Sport Science at a private school. In 2012, he earned his M.Ed in Educational Leadership and served as the school principal until the conclusion of the 2016 school year. Currently, Ned works for the Jordan School District and is in charge of gang education and awareness. He mentors dozens of at-risk students of all ages throughout the district. Ned played 2 years of Division I baseball and has been coaching accelerated softball for 10 years, including working side-by-side with Sharee McBraun for the past 2 years. His knowledge gained through all of his experiences will make him a valuable member of The Nation.
Grew up in Southern California where I played for USA Athletics. I graduated from the University of Utah with a major in psychology minor in strategic communication and emphasis in criminology. I played softball at the U where I was a team captain. Almost every appearance being at 1st base, with a couple at 2nd , and 3rd.
Coach Andrea Foster graduated from the University of Utah in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Health Education and Promotion. She played for the Utes from 2006 to 2009 as a catcher. During that time, she was a clutch player who provided depth in the lineup and played an integral part behind the plate. She was sidelined during her sophomore year due to a shoulder injury, but came back the following year to be fifth in the Mountain West Conference with runners caught stealing and a .993 fielding percentage.
She went on to be a volunteer coach at the University of Utah in 2010 working primarily with the catchers. Throughout the years following she has spent her time teaching catching skills to young women through clinics and classes. She strives to teach proper technique and knowledge of the game to players who are ready to progress to the next level. Andrea grew up in Utah and knows the value the sport of softball can give to young women and is excited to pass on that knowledge to others.
Coach Aubrey Peterson along side Sharee is University of Utah alumni. She graduated from the U with a double major in Psychology & Human Development/Family Studies. Aubrey played from 2015-2018 with the Utes and had two NCAA Regional & Super Regional appearances. She also has been a member of the Great Britain Women’s National team since 2016, as she holds dual citizenship. She is a 3 time European Bronze Medal Winner & played in 2018 World Championships and the 2019 Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier. Aubrey takes pride in traveling around the world to play and expand the game of softball.
Aubrey has had years of coaching experience & is very passionate about working with youth. She wants to not only teach her players how to play softball, but to also develop strong, confident, and hard working athletes physically, mentally and emotionally. With 17 years of experience at every stage of the game, Aubrey knows what it takes to play the game successfully at the highest level.
Coach Bailey Moore graduated from Utah Valley University in 2017 with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and is currently pursuing a Master's of Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Utah. Bailey played for the Wolverines from 2013-2017. At UVU, she was a member of the WAC championship and NCAA regional qualifying team in 2014. At UVU, Bailey is the program's all-time leader in total appearances, innings pitched, games finished, batters faced, and groundouts drawn. Since graduating in 2017, Bailey has been a pitching coach for the White Pine High School softball team in Ely, NV who won the 2018 2A Northern Nevada Division Championship and 2A Nevada State Championship. In 2019, they were 2A Nevada State Runners-up. Coach Bailey works with all pitchers in the Nation organization.
Coach Eli grew up in Denver, Colorado and played for the Triple Crown Stars. Coach Eli originally played shortstop but due to her knee injury and having to endure 5 surgeries in 3 years, she moved to 1st base . The injury did not stop her from achieving her goal to play college ball, her senior year in high school she received an offer to play at the University of Texas and was a part of the team when placing 2nd to Alabama in the Super Regionals. After her Freshman year she decided to transfer to the University of Utah. Coach Eli is currently a redshirt Junior at the U. Coach Eli has coached the past two Summers with the Triple Crown organization where she coached a 16u team her very first season, her most recent coaching season was with the 14 gold team, ending that season with a winning record of 34-11. Coach Eli also does private hitting and defensive lessons. Coach Eli is very passionate about coaching and teaching the game, she has played for multiple coaches and is excited to share her knowledge and experience with the next generation of female athletes.
Coach Emily Harris has 18 years of softball experience. Emily played for Wasatch High School, setting the home run record for the school and playing first base for the varsity team. She went on to play first base for the Colorado Northwestern Spartans, while earning her associates degree. Following her college career she coached for 3 years at Wasatch High School. Coach Emily’s goals for softball players include learning and enjoying the game while building life lessons, such as teamwork, determination and accountability.
Brandy Butler (Hess) softball career kicked off in 1989 as an All-star representing Salt Lake County Recreation in 2 state tournaments as a pink “Hot Shot.” This all-star team transitioned into the Utah Lady Warriors in 1990 when they played in the very first accelerated league offered in the state though Salt Lake County and Sandy City. The Warriors played together for the next 8 years. This talented group of girls/best friends from West Valley City, Taylorsville and Tooele accomplished a lifetime of titles, accolades and moments that will be forever known as “the best times of their life.” Brandy led her travel team, The Utah Lady Warriors on the mound from 1990-1997, where they took 17 championships, 5 ASA Utah state titles, 2 Western States regional championships that awarded them each a berth to Nationals in 1992 in Midland, Texas and again in 1994 in Normal, Illinois. Brandy’s ERA of 1.75 in the 1994 Nationals helped earn her team a 5th place spot in the 76 team tourney.
Her career on the mound continued through high school, when she led the Tooele Lady Buffs to a 3A State Championship in 1998, where she earned The Salt Lake Tribunes All-State MVP for the 3A division with a 1.8 ERA with 32 Strikeouts, 1 No-hitter and a 300 batting AVG for the 6 game tournament. Brandy started and played Varsity all 4 years of High School. While at Tooele, she earned 1st team All State 1996-1998 and a 2nd team All-state in 1995 as a freshman. She finished her senior year strong with an ERA of .195 in 183 innings pitched.
Brandy was offered a pitching scholarship to Dixie State University, where she played for 1 year. In her limited time at Dixie, she pitched a no-hitter against BYU cougars and helped shut down many big bats. She continued her Education at the University of Utah, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Community Recreation.
Not only did Salt Lake County Recreation catapult Brandy’s softball career, it has been a place she has called work/home for the past 25 years, where she is a Recreation Manager. Her focus has been on providing opportunities for youth through sports, but has always had a special place in her heart for women’s athletics. She currently oversees the accelerated and recreation softball leagues for all of Salt Lake County, where she can continue to be a positive influence on girls’ sports.