Brylee Brewster commits to University of Nebraska – Omaha

TAKING HER TALENTS NORTH, Brylee Brewster has verbally committed to attend the University of Nebraska-Omaha where she will continue her education and pursue her softball dreams. Brewster is a junior at Warsaw High School in rural Missouri.


Brylee Brewster commits to University of Nebraska - Omaha

By: Adam Howe

Like about every other little girl, when she was younger, Brylee Brewster played sports and joined teams so that she could have fun and be with her friends.  

After dabbling in tee ball and local youth leagues, she started playing competitive softball at about the age of 8.  She started off with the Torque Fastpitch organization and, as is usual, her dad was one of her coaches.  Winning kept her going, but it didn’t take her long to figure out that she wanted more.  When the trophies weren’t enough, as a pre-teen, Brewster joined the Olathe, Kansas based KC Peppers organization.  There, she was put on bigger stages and challenged herself by facing better players.  She continues to play for the BC Peppers and travels the country from coast-to-coast, competing against the best players that the sport has to offer.

“When she was younger, you could see that she was different,” BC Peppers coach Eric Flores said.  “She had a different drive to her than other players her age. She has always pushed herself to compete at the highest level.” 

Now, as a 17 year old junior at Warsaw High School, Brewster has already gained All-Conference, All-District, All-Region and All-State recognition, and with 2 years left in her high school career, she is sure to add more awards along the way while also in the search of a state title for the Ladycats.

“One thing you can count on from Brylee is that she is going to work,” Flores added.  “She continues to push herself to be better.  And as good as she is in on the dirt and in the circle, she is an even better person.  She is a natural leader who leads by example with kindness and humility.”

As this past September 1 drew near, Brewster knew she had multiple interests in her abilities to play at the collegiate level.  She received interest from major programs in Power 5 conferences, as well as multiple mid-major programs and many Division II schools.  However, after making a couple of visits to campuses, she recently made her announcement that she will be attending the University of Nebraska-Omaha where she will join an up-and-coming Mavericks team. 

After coaching her myself for many of her years and watching her mature into the young lady and the player that she is today, it was my honor to sit down and talk with Brewster about her recent decision.  

AH: When did you start playing sports, and what did you play?

BB: I’ve been playing sports ever since I was little.  I started off with tee ball, and then in middle school, I played softball, basketball and volleyball.

AH: When did you realize that softball would be your focus?

BB: When I was 13, I joined the Peppers organization and realized that softball was something that I wanted to continue to do and it could possible pay for my college.

AH: How did pitching come about?

BB: When I was 10, I played on a local traveling team, Torque, and we needed a pitcher so I tried it out for fun.  At first, it was something that I was just trying to do for the team, but I ended up falling in love with it.

AH: What kind of work has gone into your pitching?  

BB: I have put a lot of work into pitching.  I am constantly training to get better, either in the weight room or on the field.  I go to lessons in Lawrence, Kansas every other week.  My instructor is Tracey Bunge.  She is a previous player and coach at KU.  I’ve been working with her for about a year and a half now and I’ve learned so much.  There’s  just always something I can do to be better.

AH: Have you ever played any other positions?

BB: I used to play first base, along with pitching, but there came a point a few years ago when I decided that I just wanted to focus on pitching.

AH: What is so attractive or undeniable, to you, about being in the circle?  Not just anyone can do it, right?

BB: I love to be in the circle because I am in control of the game.  I get the ball every play, so there’s always something I can do to help the team.  Pitching is an extremely difficult thing to do.  It takes a lot of practice and doesn’t just come naturally.

AH: How was the recruiting process for you?

BB: The process was a little stressful.  I was worried that I wouldn’t find my “home”, but when I stepped onto campus at Omaha, I knew that I had found it.  

AH: Where else did you visit?  Any other offers?

BB: I visited Missouri State University.  It was also a really great experience and I can’t thank their staff enough for taking the time to welcome me into their “home”.

AH: So why the University of Nebraska-Omaha?

BB: When I was on my visit there, I just felt at home.  I could see myself going there and living my everyday life.  There was just something about it, and I knew that it could be my new “home” away from home.

AH: How do you expect the Mavericks to use you?

BB: I’m hoping to be in the circle as an underclassmen and help produce early.  I really just want to have a positive impact as a member of the pitching staff and do what I can whenever my name is called.

AH: Any idea on a major yet?

BB: I want to major in Speech Pathology.  I plan on being a speech therapist at a school and working with young kids.  My grandma impacted me to follow the speech patch.

AH: What were some of the things that drew you to Omaha, the city itself?

BB: Omaha is a really pretty city!  The campus alone is beautiful.  And the city isn’t really big, but it isn’t small either.

AH: What have been some of your most memorable experiences while playing high school softball?  Travel softball?

BB: I love having the opportunity to play high school softball because it’s with my school friends.  We get to bond and grow closer together, on and off of the field.  With the BC Peppers, this last summer, we played the Aces and I was in the circle.  They are a really good organization with a lot of girls committed to playing D1.  It’s been several years since our team had beat them, so it was really exciting when we beat them, 2-1.  I pitched the full 7 innings and it was such a good game. Our defense was lights out!  Travel ball has allowed me to make lifelong friends and travel places that I really never thought I’d go!

AH: Who has been the biggest inspiration in your softball career?

BB: My biggest inspiration has been Kasey Wood.  She was my teammate for 2 years and she’s currently playing softball at the University of Arkansas.  She was an amazing role model and taught me how to be tough in the circle, both mentally and physically.  She was the best mentor and she taught me so much.  I’m very grateful that I got the honor of pitching with her.

AH: How do you want Ladycats fans and those little girls watching to remember you?

BB: I want the younger generation to remember me as someone who was a role model.  I want to positively impact younger girls and help them become the best versions of themselves, both on and off of the field.

AH: What advice might you give to those younger girls who are just starting to play and enjoy softball?

BB: Enjoy the ride!  It’s very mentally and physically challenging, but it’s all worth it.  All of the bad innings and games mean nothing when you find huge success.  There is always work to be put in and you should never be satisfied with where you are.  Strive to be the best you can be and just play the game you love.

AH: Anything else you’d like to add?

BB: I’d just like to thank my parents for helping me get to where I am today.  They have sacrificed a lot for our family just to get me where I need to be every weekend.  I know they wouldn’t trade it for the world and I’m incredibly grateful for that.  My dad has sat on a bucket too many times to count and my mom has traveled the country with me.  I think softball has brought our family closer and it’s allowed us to spend quality time together and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything different with anyone else.


Florida State Commit Harlie Chism lands NIL Deal

Florida State Commit Harlie Chism lands NIL Deal

By: Rob Else

Harlie Chism from Weatherford High School (OK) has signed a Name Image Likeness (NIL) deal with The Collective Engine (TCE).  Chism, a 2025 Florida State commit, plays for the Oklahoma Athletics National 2024 team coached by Brian Madden and Terry Clemmer.

“It’s a great way to market yourself and get your name out there for when softball does end” said Chism.

TCE offers a full suite of marketing and branding services focused on the athlete’s success off the field.  It is run by Tony Wyllie who has more than 27-years of experience in sports management including serving as the Senior Vice President of Communications for the Washington Redskins football organization.  In August of 2023, Top Gun Events and The Collective Engine announced a partnership in supporting student-athletes in achieving their NIL goals.

Chism’s NIL deal came about through her club coaches.  “Brian Madden reached out to my dad and I and said it would be a great opportunity,” she said.  It was an opportunity that was too good to pass up for the future Seminole.  Part of what sold Chism on signing with The Collective Engine is the athletes they represent. 

Two-time NCAA D1 championship pitcher, Jordy Bahl signed a deal with The Collective Engine earlier this year.  “It stood out to me that TCE had just signed Jordy Bahl,” said Chrism when asked about why she went with TCE.

Not all states allow high school athletes to sign NIL deals.  Unlike college athletics, there is no national governing body for high school sports.  As of April 2023, 25 states allow some form of NIL monetization at the high school level.  The Oklahoma Secondary Activities Association approved NIL guidelines in October of 2022.  Thus, allowing Chism to sign NIL deals while she is in still in high school.

Chism has taken full advantage and has signed multiple NIL deals.  She has another NIL deal with a local gym where she works out.  She said she wasn’t proactively looking for deals. They have come from her marketing her passions on social media and with other people in the town. 

What is Chism’s advice for other athletes that might be looking for NIL deals?  “Don’t be intimidated by big things coming at you.  Don’t be scared to get right into it.  You have to learn how to be outgoing and communicate,” said Chism. 

Nebraska Crowns Softball State Champions at Connie Claussen Field

Nebraska Crowns Softball State Champions at Connie Claussen Field

By: Rob Else

The Nebraska State Softball tournament started last Wednesday at Smith Softball Complex in Hastings and wrapped up with the championship games on Monday at Connie Claussen Field on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  It was the first year for the new format in which the championship games were moved to Omaha to the beautiful new Classen Field.  Championship games for each class were also televised for the first time.

The change was huge success.

Over 4400 tickets were sold for Monday night’s championship games.   Last year, 6800 tickets were sold for the entire tournament in Hastings.  You could feel the electricity in the air and the atmosphere was amazing.  It was standing room only to watch six teams play at the highest level in the state.

Class C – Ashland-Greenwood Wins First Ever State Championship

In the first game of the night, No 1. Ashland-Greenwood beat No 2. Bishop Neumann 2-0. It was the first state softball title in school history for the Bluejays.  Both pitchers were tough in the circle, combining for 19 strikeouts.  Sophia Dill got the win for Ashland-Greenwood pitch a complete game with eight strikeouts and four walks.  Dill pitched around bases loaded situations in the second and third inning.  The Cavaliers stranded 14 base runners and couldn’t come up with the timely hit they need.  The Bluejays scored on an RBI single by Reese Fisher in the sixth and a solo home run by Ellie Stein in the seventh.

Class B – Northwest goes back-to-back

No. 2 Northwest knocked off No. 1 Blair, 9-8,  to claim their second straight state title.  The Vikings got a two-out single by Kyra Ray in the bottom of the seventh to walk of the Bears. The lead changed five times throughout the game.  Blair would get ahead, but the Vikings always had an answer.  At the plate, Northwest was led by Reyse Zobel (2025).  The junior was 4-4 with a home run, a double, and two RBI.   

Class A – Papillion Takes Home 17th State Title

Papillion-Lavista used a 5-run 5th inning to take the lead and beat No. 2 Millard North 10-3.  The Monarchs trailed 2-1 going into the top of the 5th but scored five runs to lead 6-2.  They would add on another run in the 6th and 3 more runs in the 7th.  Monarch pitcher Amanda Gibilisco (2025) kept the Mustang hitters off balance all night with a good mix of change ups.  At the plate, Presley Ivener (2024) and Avery Wolfe (2025) each had three hits.  The win capped off the 17th Class A state softball championship for the Monarchs.