A little background...Maddie's HS has had terrible softball for a long time. Last year's season ended with 10 more losses than wins, and most losses were by 10 or more runs. The only wins were ugly on both sides (14-12, for example). At the end of the season, the head coach resigned. We have recently learned that there was a ton of issues related to the HC and AC (nothing unethical, just really poor team management and unnecessary drama). Thankfully, they are all gone, and a fresh start is upon us.
As most of Maddie's travel ball teammates were already practicing and playing scrimmage games with their HS teams before the winter break, Madddie's school still hadn't even hired a new coach. Heading into the end of Dec. we had serious doubts that there would even be a team, and I was starting to think about finding a "dark" team for her. Immediately after the break, a coach was announced (someone we know from rec ball), and tryouts were held. Almost 70 girls showed up for the first day of tryouts - a surprising amount of bodies, but not a lot of talent. The group was pared down to 30 over a few days to fill the varsity and JV teams.
When the final team selections were announced, Maddie was picked as the only freshman on the varsity squad, and has been announced as the #1 catcher. Honestly, I'm not really surprised she is on the varsity team, but I'm still extremely proud of her. There's another freshman I was fairly sure would be named to varsity that was not.
Maddie and I have had conversations about the need to be continually earning her spot, especially for this team. Not just to the coach, but also to her teammates and their parents. Not everyone takes so kindly to losing their spot to a freshman. A couple of weeks into practices, I was very happy to hear from the HC that her teammates love her, and the older girls have adopted her as a little sister.
Last year's big struggle for the team was pitching, especially after the departure of the best pitcher early in the season due to the coach issues. She's back. She's a sophomore, and an experienced travel player. She won't dominate, but will be solid. Her and Maddie are building a good bond and having fun together. The immediate years ahead are a little more promising with the two of them growing together. Next year, they will gain a very talented SS/CF.
Going into tryouts, Maddie wasn't 100% sure she even wanted to play for the school team. Earlier this week, she got into my car after practice, and told me, "I love my team!". She likes the coach, and is excited for the season.
Tomorrow morning, they have their first games in a local tournament.