Honoring The Life And Legacy Of Bill Hicks

Firecracker Softball Inc.

Firecrackers present and past-we lost a great man last night. Bill defined love, loyalty and respect for not only the Firecrackers, but for our industry in general. Our hearts pour out to his family and coach Sean, who says it best in his post below. We love and will miss you big man.
Tony Rico 

Firecrackers Brashear Fastpitch

We are so saddened to post the loss of Bill Hicks.
To his beautiful family wife Tylene, his (2) daughters Katy and Tori, we offer you our deepest condolences. For those that knew Bill well then you knew his first and truest love was to his family. He was truly a great husband and father.
We were all so lucky to have been part of Bill’s extended family as he gave and shared so much love to all of his softball families. He worked endlessly to help his softball families and the athletes achieve their dreams. This was his true passion and no one worked harder than Bill Hicks did for his athletes.
We will all miss Bill. He was truly a great one taken from us too soon.
I love you bro and will miss you.
Sean Brashear

We ask that you would kindly consider donating to the family of a wonderful father, husband and coach.



DI Council extends recruiting dead period through May 31

2021 Update From the NCAA Division I Council

Recruiting dead period

From NCAA Press Release:

The Division I Council extended the recruiting dead period for all sports through May 31, continuing the ban on in-person recruiting activities that began when the pandemic hit last spring. As part of the vote, members also committed to providing clarity on plans for the transition back to recruiting calendars, including potential modifications for the return to in-person recruiting activity, no later than April 15. The Council met virtually Wednesday.

No in-person recruiting or evaluations can occur in the dead period.

Firecrackers Inspire During Our Nation's Crisis

Emerging within our culture is a message, and it's coming from our players. Their message is one of happiness and hope as their TikTok challenges, artwork, and video clips showing appreciation to essential workers reveal. We couldn't be more proud of the way our players are rising to the occasion in finding ways to be productive in their new "space."

We were most recently touched by the artwork created by Zoe Villarreal, who plays for our 8U Firecrackers in Brownsville, Texas, and from FC Duarte/Esquer, from the Imperial valley, who sent us this powerful collage reminding everyone to do their part during the quarantine.


Thank you to all of our Firecrackers across the country for your imagination!

Be safe and stay #FC Strong!


- Tony


FC School: Exercise #1 Capture Who You Are

We have been working around the clock to structure all of our FC content and information so that we maximize the opportunity we have in front of us. We want to build a stronger relationship with you by delivering the full value of being a Firecracker. By the time we all hit the field, I promise those of you who put in the time will see the benefits by the summer.

On a scale from 1-10, how do you, as a player or team, compare to the Firecracker standard set before you? If reaching that standard is as important to you as it is to us, then now is the time to implement the ingredients of the Firecracker "system".

We will be sending out lessons weekly to you from FC OnDemand to pass on to your players. They are structured like assignments with a task or quiz at the end.

This starts right here, right now, by capturing our players' self-image.

Exercise #1 Capture Who You Are is below


Coaches: Send out to all your players immediately

A lesson on FC Fielding is coming tomorrow, so don't fall behind.


FC Schneider: Connecting Players To Their Community

Firecrackers Schneider from California has taken “Play With Honor” to another level by exhibiting commitment off the field with their participation in community service. We asked head coach Danny Schneider to share with us some insight on why and how he inspires his team to help others.

TR: What do you want your players to get out of participating in community service?

DS: The original intention was to simply to teach the girls about giving back and serving those that are less fortunate. We hoped at minimum community service would develop a sense of gratitude and humility. As it turns out, these volunteer opportunities have helped the girls improve their communication, leadership and decision making skills. Volunteering has also been an empowering experience and has allowed the girls to develop a professional network; from local community leaders, to board members, to CEOs. Ultimately, the goal is for each girl to think beyond themselves and to benefit both intrinsically and extrinsically from helping others.

TR: Can you share with us an example of something that you participated in?

DS: he two most meaningful experiences they have had was serving individuals with disabilities as part of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Challenger program, and volunteering for the Project Boon Thanksgiving Eat and Be Well event. Both of these events made a tremendous impact on the girls.

TR: What did it require?

DS: It truly requires nothing but your time, heart and desire to serve others.

TR: What advice do you have for a team that wants to begin community service. How can they get started?

DS: My advice would be to talk with your players and find out what they are passionate about and then connect with local non-profits that serve that need. For example, our players showed an interest in serving those with physical and mental disabilities so we connected with the Special Olympics as well as the Dodgers Foundation. An additional resource is to connect with your local City Community Services Department and inquire about their volunteer opportunities as well as Special Events Calendar.

TR: How would you describe your team this year?

DS: Best way to describe our team is passionate and competitive. Our young ladies love to be challenged by competing against the best and are not afraid to fail. They are truly passionate about the game of softball and their love to serve others.

TR: What do you like most about them?

DS: What I love about our team is that these young ladies embody our culture and identity and are determined to define their own success. “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best are capable of becoming." (John Wooden) This has very little to do with the score of a game. Instead, it has everything to do with bringing out the best in one another, believing wholeheartedly in themselves and playing with honor.


Jon Jon Reviews: El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

When Breaking Bad ended it’s epic five-season run on AMC in 2013, the series not only left us with closure for some of its main characters but also left us asking questions about the fate of other characters we had grown to love. Six years later, show creator Vince Gilligan finally answers what’s probably the biggest looming question that was on every fan’s mind: What happened to Jesse Pinkman after he escaped his imprisonment? El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is the epilogue we’ve been waiting for.

Aaron Paul returns to the role of his career, this time in a feature film form, and doesn’t miss a beat in the time that he has been away from the Jesse Pinkman character. Aaron Paul has suffered from bad projects in his career after Jesse, but playing the character in a story centered solely around him shows he is capable of being a worthy leading man if given the right material. The film also features returning supporting characters such as Skinny Pete and Badger, Jesse’s drug-dealing friends played by Matt Jones and Charles Baker respectively, as well as Jesse Plemmons, who played the sadistic character, Todd. El Camino is also notable for being the final role of actor Robert Forster’s career, as he died on the day the film was released worldwide.

When it comes to the overall story format, I really enjoyed how the film balanced itself out with present-day scenes, in which the main events take place in only a couple days' time at most, and flashbacks, which helped provide insights into Jesse’s current psyche and present-day plot points. Gilligan, who is making his feature film debut as a director and producer, does a great job bringing the unique Breaking Bad style to the film, making the movie feel like an extended episode of the hit show with a much higher production budget. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie serves as a wonderful, thrilling and ultimately satisfying epilogue to what is arguably the greatest television series of all time.



Jon’s Picks: Five Television Shows You Should Be Watching

Sometimes we all need to just wind down and escape from the reality of our every day lives by watching  some television. But choosing something to watch can be difficult with all the content to choose from in this golden age of television. That’s why I’m here to help you narrow down some of your choices with these picks for shows you should be watching down below: 

Watchmen (HBO)   


In 2009, Zack Snyder released his film adaptation of Alan Moore’s acclaimed graphic novel Watchmen, showing audiences a depiction of superheroes in real world scenarios and the real-life impact they would have on our actual society in the 1980s. Ten years later, writer and show runner Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) brings his take on the world of Watchmen, bringing us a new story that takes place in the modern day, long after the events of the original source material. The show will contain a few characters from the original story, but will also introduce new characters to the lore as the show’s lead is being played by Oscar-winning actress Regina King. Other cast members include Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jean Smart as Silk Spectre, and Jeremy Irons as Ozymandias. Watchmen just debuted on October 20, so be sure to catch the premiere before the second episode drops on Sundays.

Living With Yourself (Netflix)

Beloved actor and all-around nice guy Paul Rudd stars in his first leading role in a scripting television show starring alongside none other than….himself! The story revolves around a man who discovers he’s been cloned after undergoing a mysterious treatment that promised him the allure of a better life. Critics have praised the show for it’s clever writing and Paul Rudd’s dueling performances. Living With Yourself is only eight episodes long and can currently be found streaming on Netflix.  

Barry (HBO)

See Bill Hader like you have never seen before as he stars in this 30x-Emmy nominated comedy series about a hitman who tries to balance his murderous profession with his newfound passion for becoming an actor. The show has currently completed two very successful seasons with a 3rd season renewed by HBO back in March 2019. Along with Hader’s award-winning performance, the legendary Henry Winkler is in a role that has also garnered him an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting actor in a Comedy Series. Barry quickly became one of the most beloved series on television for it’s ability to mix elements of drama, comedy and thrillers and solid performances to make for a very well-rounded show.

AEW Dynamite (TNT) and WWE NXT (USA)

Since the beloved days of the “Monday Night Wars” in the late 90’s, there has not been a better time to be a fan of professional wrestling than right nowwith Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown. Being longtime staples in the world of wrestling on television, All Elite Wrestling and WWE NXT has just begun their respective runs on mainstream television by going head to head with each other to provide the high quality of wrestling that you will find. You have the option to watch Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, and The Young Bucks showcase the talents of themselves and many other wrestlers who will have a big platform to perform or can watch the future stars of WWE such as Adam Cole and the Undisputed Era, Johnny Gargano, Matt Riddle, and Shayna Baszler bring down the house on USA Network. Wednesdays have never been this exciting!

The Chef Show (Netflix)

Join filmmaker Jon Favreau and Chef Roy Choi as they embark on a culinary journey that will inspire you to cook as much as it inspires you to eat. Inspired by the film Chef, which was written and directed by Favreau with culinary consulting by Choi, explores different recipes and cooking techniques from all different styles and cultures around the world. The show includes it’s fair share of celebrity guests such as Seth Rogen, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Holland, and Dave Filoni! You can find the complete first season on Netflix now.




Firecrackers Maryland Wins Big As A Team

Firecrackers Maryland recently captured the 2019 18U Open USA Maryland-DC-Delaware State Championship and earned their berth to the 2020 USA National Championships. They overcame an early loss to defeat the national powerhouse Gold Coast Hurricanes, in what Coach Richardson called a “total team effort.”


He praised the team for being hard-working, fun, and for pulling for each other.

“They compete and don’t complain. They have the good kind of attitude.” A tip of the hat to Coach Troy for the fact that every player contributed in the championship game, which we all know doesn’t always happen. He said aggressive play with diving catches made this team really fun to watch, and so now we definitely will be looking forward to the noise Firecrackers MD will be making this coming year.


Great job and congratulations!

- Tony Rico 



Firecracker Alumni Qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics!

The Firecracker nation would like to congratulate some of our alumni for their recent performance in the Americas Softball  Qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Team Mexico qualified for the first time ever with strong contributions from former Firecrackers Amanda Sanchez (LSU), Anissa Urtez (Utah), Chelsea Gonzales (Arizona State) and Gordy Bravo (BYU).

Michelle Floyd (Arizona) also pitched very well for Team Venezuela, as they got to the "Super Six" final round of play.


Look for more Firecrackers to compete internationally for their countries at different age levels in the future, such as Lilly Travieso did this past summer for Team Puerto Rico.

Softball continues to grow globally, and we are excited to see what the future holds for our players who want to experience international play.

Great job ladies!

-Tony Rico



Welcome to another year of Firecracker Softball!

We want to thank you all for doing your part in making this past year so successful. FC teams across the country are enjoying new levels of success on and off the field, and we are excited to make this year even better.

The intense focus on cultural growth has paid off and now we must add to our foundation by continuing to prepare our players, coaches, and parents to think and experience this game professionally. This is what college coaches, as well as the entire industry, expects from our organization, and once again, this is what we will deliver.

Make sure to invest your time in FC OnDemand. You will start to see and play the game with the professional mindset that we have been known for during the past 30 years. Our goal this year is to broaden our education for coaches and parents because being well-intended but unequipped is no longer acceptable in today's business softball world. This lack of education has taken its toll on our players, and we must reverse this trend of anxiety and depression taking place in too many of them.

Plug into the"system" and FC network as many have, and you will feel the power of the brand. The inside investment as opposed to just wearing the name on the outside is extremely noticeable and beneficial for those that choose to do so.

Also, stay connected to the network by following us on social media, where we constantly update upcoming events and news within our club. FC America loves to see what's going on with your team and culture, so please keep sharing pictures of your teams and players, because they are the heart of the Firecrackers.

Lastly, please keep your eye on our national events and do your best to attend them. These are exclusive, unique opportunities that allow us to connect with each other in some of the best venues in the country. This year's BBFC USSSA Space Coast Experience December 6-8 is a great example of such an event. Plan on joining us, especially if it's cold where you live in December!

We intend to once again set the professional bar in travel ball, so get ready for what will be another amazing year for Firecracker Softball.

Stay FC strong,

Tony Rico