Last year, Dave Dominik, a fixture in the youth and travel softball scene as a coach, took over the Kingsway High School head coaching duties from the long-time coach, Tony Barchuk, who retired the previous summer.
Immediately upon taking the position, he realized that he needed to direct his energies towards the youth level in the area. The areas of emphasis became the development of skills and the retention of players within the Kingsway area.
“I became interested in getting involved at some level with travel ball after realizing that girls were playing on different travel teams,” said Dominik. “These girls were honing their softball skills but weren’t always gearing up to play for Kingsway at the high school level.”
Dominik decided to do something about it. He decided to institute a youth (14U) softball travel team, geared towards middle school students from the Kingsway district only.
They are called Dragon Fire. They started practice in August, meeting one day per week for practice as well as a games on the weekends. Currently, the team has a record of 14-3.
“This is something I’ve wanted to see happen around here for the last 14 years, since my daughter (former Kingsway softball great Kelsey Dominik) and Katie Dickson (another former Kingsway softball great) were 10 years old,” said Dominik.
Dominik now will have the ability to implement techniques that will be applicable to the style and system that his teams at the high school employ. As for the future, Dragon Fire still is active. They are continuing winter workouts at Kingsway Middle School and a private facility. While the team that competes is selective, they also welcome other players to come and work out in order to sharpen their skills.
Also noteworthy, Dominik has demonstrated a true commitment to developing character in his girls. This was demonstrated this summer, when Dragon Fire participated in the Clean Communities initiative.
However, Dragon Fire elected to donate the money to Breast Cancer Awareness at one of their tournaments. With many family members of the players having been breast cancer survivors, this cause struck home.
Also, their own coach, Dave Dominik, also has battled colon cancer. This venture became personal and heartfelt.
Other groups also raised money for this worthy cause. Dominik’s group raised the most money in the area.
Needless to say, Dominik’s efforts with this travel team extend far beyond the playing fields.
By Christian Lynch