Poplar Bluff's Thresher earns invitation to play softball in Spain
Poplar Bluff sophomore BreAnn Thresher is looking forward to taking her softball career to an international level next summer with an invitation to join a select group of American players on a seven-day trip to Spain.
The team, sponsored by ACIS (American Council for International Studies), will play games in Barcelona and other cities in Spain in July.
The team’s itinerary includes seven games against Spanish teams, goodwill exchanges between American and Spanish softball players, and a number of community service events.
Thresher, 15, describes her outlook as “super excited” for the trip.
“I’m looking forward to playing softball and meeting girls from another country who love softball as much as I do,” she said.
Thresher, a varsity softball player for the Mules, played second base and was a backup pitcher this fall. She plays those same positions plus outfield for the Clearwater Lakers, a regional traveling team that includes players from Butler and Wayne counties as well as northeastern Arkansas.
She says her favorite spot on the field is in the pitcher’s circle.
“I like helping my team out,” she said. “Trying to get strikeouts makes me feel really good.”
Thresher has played organized softball since age 3. This will be her first trip outside the United States.
Thresher was referred to ACIS’s America’s Team by the softball coach from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, which is where she hopes to study after high school as well as continue her softball career.
The opportunity was then communicated to Rick Willard, BreAnn’s grandfather, who told her, “You should do this.”
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“I’m excited for her,” Willard said. “It will be a good, eye-opening experience for her interacting with girls from another country.”
Willard also looked carefully at the ACIS organization, the results of which he said, “I found nothing but positive feedback on the experience.”
Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Boston, ACIS has promoted international educational trips for more than half a million students and teachers.
Thresher’s next challenge is raising the funds for the trip. At a little more than $4,400, Willard said several fundraising activities are in the works, including a “Bre to Spain” donation account at First Midwest Bank and a Family Feud-style Trivia Night at Bluff Burgers & Brew restaurant in Poplar Bluff in January.