ALWS: Female coach making history

Allyson Coryell admitted Thursday that she was feeling the pressure.

“I know everyone is watching. But I’m really confident in myself, I know what I’m doing, I know I’m good at what I do,” she said.

What Coryell does is coach first base for Hopewell (N.J.) Post 339, making her the first female coach ever at the American Legion World Series.

She welcomes the pressure.

“I’m also really excited. I think once I get the first game out of the way, everyone will be reassured that I can be here with the guys,” Allyson said.

“I think it’s important for (girls) to know that there’s no reason they can’t be doing what I’m doing in 10 years, that there’s no reason they can’t do whatever they want to just because they’re female. If they’re qualified, they’re qualified.”

Baseball is a family thing for the Coryells. Allyson’s dad, Mike, is the New Jersey team’s head coach and she watched her brother play growing up. “I’ve been around baseball about 22 of the 25 years I’ve been alive,” Allyson said.

She played baseball with boys until she was 12 before switching to softball, where she began coaching when she was 17. A couple years later, she began coaching Babe Ruth Baseball with her dad, and three years ago, when her dad began coaching the Legion team and asked her if she wanted to coach, she said “Absolutely.”

“Baseball’s my favorite thing, I would say, in the entire world. There’s nothing I like more than watching a baseball game, even if I don’t know any person playing. I just think there’s so much complexity within the game that it’s a lot of fun to watch and nitpick everything that players do wrong, coaches do wrong. It’s one of the things that makes me the most happy, and coaching with my dad makes it even better. We are extremely close and have a great relationship because of it,” Allyson said.

She doesn’t have to go back too far to recall her favorite baseball memory.

“When we won the (Legion Baseball Mid-Atlantic) regional, (my dad and I) just looked at each other and hugged,” Allyson said. “Three years ago, this team was nothing, and now here we are going to the World Series.”

New Jersey opened the ALWS with a 6-3 loss to North Carolina on Thursday night.

American Legion Baseball

American Legion Baseball enjoys a reputation as one of the most successful and tradition-rich amateur athletic leagues. Today, the program registers more than 5,400 teams in all 50 states, including Canada and Puerto Rico.

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