Westminster pushes their students not only through mental strength in the classroom, but physically on the field, court, and pool. One of the several sports Westminster’s students, teachers, faculty, and families proudly supports is the Varsity Girls’ Softball team. Trained by head coach, Brent McGuire, along with assistant coaches, Kasey Stout and Bill Caldwell, the softball team has seen improvements over the past several years.
“We have improved so much over the past four years, we are all very dedicated to the game, take practice seriously, and most importantly, we all have fun!” said senior Evelyn Stafford.
With these improvements comes lots of hard work, dedication, passion, and community.
“The relationships we have with each other are the strongest feature of our team,” said senior Avery Shiver, “as well as the fact that there are not many of us and we have all been playing together since elementary school, which has allowed us to get to know each other very well.”
Over these past four years, seniors Evelyn Stafford, Avery Shiver, Alana Ducree, and Meredith Ficery have grown together to not only strengthen personal friendships, but to create an inseparable team.
“The softball community is very close because of the friendships we have created, and also because of the families on the team,” said Stafford, “So many girls have siblings who play the game after them or with them, and it is such a fun dynamic to have!”
Throughout the last four years, these seniors have adapted and adopted new players onto the team. Team work and cooperation is what these four seniors have brought to the team to include new players, some even siblings.
“The younger players really adapt to the team during the first few weeks of practice before school starts when they meet the team and get to understand what playing on a Westminster varsity team really entails,” says Shiver.
Outnumbered by the nine freshmen and one sophomore, the seniors don’t hesitate to introduce them to the softball dynamic and all the traditions.
“The younger players have been great at adapting to the team,” said Stafford, “since there are nine of them, it is nice for them to have each other to lean on, but overall they have mixed in seamlessly and we all have inside jokes as a team.”
Going along with adapting to the team, the new players get to experience many Westminster traditions for the first time, including the senior’s tradition for the last game.
“My favorite softball tradition is the seniors last jog around the bases at practice before our last game,” said Stafford.
The senior’s hard work and dedication to the team for their four years is lastly recognized during this last practice. The underclassmen get to watch how excited the seniors are at how much they have accomplished, while also being inspired to make the most of their seasons on the team. As well as the ‘Thunderstruck’ senior tradition, there are others that the whole team get to experience.
“We play the song ‘Thunderstruck’ when it’s time to clean up the warmup equipment before a game and we try to clean up the whole field in the shortest time as we can,” said Shiver.
Bringing the whole team together, this is one of the earliest times the team can come together and work as a whole and still have fun.As the season is about to get into playoffs, the seniors are trying to make it as far as they can for their last year.
“Hopefully we come out on top of our region after we play Lovett, and our dream is to make it back to Elite 8, which has only been done one other time in Westminster softball history,” said Shiver.
The seniors this year have many hopes and lots of spirit to get the team back to such a memorable tournament where they broke records at Westminster and hope to do it again.
“I think we will do very well this season, we have a lot of potential with the younger girls to go far,” said Stafford, “I hope and believe we can make it back to Columbus for Elite 8 this year.
With big dreams in mind going to the Elite 8, the softball players will have to look up to their seniors for advice and courage during the next part of their season even more than before. These four softball seniors have made a great mark on not only Westminster’s softball team, but all the younger student athletes following in their position.