Softball team seeks success with new coach

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Softball team seeks success with new coach

The softball program looks ahead with the new leadership of Coach Jayma George. The girls start their season March 23 against McNicholas High School.

The softball program looks ahead with the new leadership of Coach Jayma George. The girls start their season March 23 against McNicholas High School.

Katharine Coleman

The softball program looks ahead with the new leadership of Coach Jayma George. The girls start their season March 23 against McNicholas High School.

Katharine Coleman

Katharine Coleman

The softball program looks ahead with the new leadership of Coach Jayma George. The girls start their season March 23 against McNicholas High School.

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The WHHS softball players are elated for the exciting time of the year during which they get to spend hours a day on the softball diamond. Coach Jayma George, also a biology and seventh grade science teacher, was promoted to head coach this past offseason.

George was the Junior High Head Coach at WHHS from 2014-2017 and joined the varsity staff for the 2018 season as Assistant Head Coach.

Coach George might be the new head coach but she is not exactly new to the players in the program. George has been together with many of the players on the team since they were seventh and eighth graders. A lot of times, varsity coaches don’t become close with players until they’re on varsity usually as juniors or seniors. This unique situation has instilled a special bond between the team and George.

George said, “One of the main things I try to do is just let my players know I care about each of them as a person. Of course I want us to have a winning record and be the best, but I care more so that each player is happy and healthy.“

George said, “I feel like we started a positive change last year with Coach Wiles but I am definitely looking to keep improving. I really want the culture to be positive, there to be high energy and for the players to have a sense of pride in our team and sense of unity and family.”

With the varsity softball team going 3-19 last season, one would think there would be less optimism within the team as a whole. However, a losing record doesn’t stop the team from enjoying the game together in the luscious flow of the springtime weather.

SENIOR second baseman and left fielder Alex Bick said, “I care more about having fun, honestly, because if you’re having fun and you’re actually putting your all into the game, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose because you know you put your all into it. Winning is just more fun.”

In retrospect, high school sports are here for the purpose of having fun. This will be Bick’s fourth year on varsity, and she has been a part of the WHHS softball program since she was in eighth grade. She doesn’t play on a summer team, so naturally she appreciates the high school season fully for the joy the game and her teammates bring her.

“I play because I love the game,” Bick said.

Most people don’t understand how chaotic high school softball and baseball seasons are, fitting around 20 games into a month, leaving very few free days. Also, accounting for cancellations at the beginning of the season, there are commonly games nearly every day later in the season. And when the games are away, a large portion of precious time is the entire team piling into a bus, traveling to far away schools like West Clermont and Kings High School.

Regarding the hectic schedule, George said, “The month of April is a true endurance challenge. For example, we only have like eight days I think, including Sundays, that we don’t have games this coming April. Keeping up with that schedule and still managing school, work and other clubs and activities, and not to mention a social life, is hard! I’m tired just thinking about how jam packed our schedule is.”

With so many long bus rides and minutes spent waiting for weather delays to be over, softball and baseball teams naturally become acquainted. There are so many times during the year where there is nothing else to do besides joke around and become closer together. The game itself is more individually based than other sports like basketball, but in softball, the nature of the schedule and season allows the players to become almost as close off the field as on it.

Utility player Kienzee Rasheed, ‘20, said, “We do have a lot of fun at games. Most of the girls have a good chemistry so we’re always always there to hype each other up…The past three years before games we sometimes do the Macarena to ‘Party in the U.S.A.’”

Rasheed has been a varsity starter, practically playing whatever position the team needs her to play since her freshman year. Regarding some of the best times she’s had playing softball, Rasheed said, “When we’re ‘dancing’ on the seats of the bus and then fall in between the seats when the bus stops.”

Although the team has a great time, they still wish to improve their success on the field. This season will mark their third coach in as many seasons with a new head coach. However, the program has almost doubled in numbers since 2014, according to George, with full rosters for the Junior High, Junior Varsity, and Varsity teams.

Pitcher Brianna Hoover, ‘20, said, “The goal is to make our team stronger and better than ever. I think every year I’m most excited about watching our new players blend in with the rest of the team and watching the team grow and everyone individually grow as players.”