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Maddie - The HS journey begins...

May 24, 2013
So Cal
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.

Feb 21, 2017
Congratulations to her and hopefully you have a season where you can enjoy the games without mumbling under your breath about the coaching. You know every parents dream.

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Oct 1, 2014
Congrats to Maddie, you & the family and the whole HS team! Having a coach you like and can trust goes a long way and HS ball can mean a lot to our DD's! Competing for a spot based on talent and hustle is one thing, competing for that spot based on politics, seniority or favoritism is a whole different thing!
Oct 4, 2018
Great story and great lesson.

But what struck me most was just how awesome kids are. Maddie, her teammates. So cool they're bonding and having fun.


Jun 8, 2016
Softball aside, good luck navigating the HS years...I think you already have an older DD so you are probably a pro at it already ;)
Last edited:


Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
Eric, I wanted to take the time to thank you for posting your journey with Maddie. It is rare that a poster has shared so much of the journey in an attempt to help others. I think long time members can think of others who also did so. I am so excited for you. I want to wish both your family and Maddie a great experience! Enjoy it my friend!
May 24, 2013
So Cal
Congratulations to her and hopefully you have a season where you can enjoy the games without mumbling under your breath about the coaching. You know every parents dream.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
At this point, I'm happy that there's a team for her to play on. I know the coach and have a good idea what to expect from him. He's a good guy. I know he will make it fun, and give it 100% of his effort. He's exceeded many of my expectations already. There might be times when I don't agree with something, but he was willing to take on this task, and I wasn't. I support him for that reason alone...at this point, anyway ;)

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