Girls varsity softball season starts

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Photo submitted by Mikenna Johnson

Girls varsity getting runs in against the Tartan Titans last spring, they won 16-0 in a great game of playing last season.

Riley Carlson, Online and Business Editor

The girls varsity softball team is just starting out their season. They are preparing for the season by doing a lot of practices and working out before school starts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are a very competitive team with good intentions to play well in state this year.

“We have been doing lots of weightlifting and are definitely a stronger team. We had a scrimmage and you could tell we had been weightlifting by how much better hitting our team had compared to the other teams and you could tell by how much we had been practicing on hitting because of how well we did compared to others,” senior Maddie Johnson explained.

The team has a bond like no other team, they treat each other like family and do a lot of team bonding just to have that connection with the team all together which helps them all play better as a team.

“As a senior, I will definitely miss the team the most, we all feel so comfortable around each other. I’d say we just need to keep that tight bond that we had last year because it really helped us out in our games,” Maddie said.

We all feel so comfortable around each other.”

— Senior Maddie Johnson

Head coach Angie Ryan has always had a place in her heart for softball, at 3-years-old, she begged to play catch in her house and outside with a racquetball and by fourth grade she was on a competitive team playing with seventh graders. She has been coaching varsity since 2005 with many different teams.

“My mom says at 3 years old all winter long I wanted to play catch in the house nonstop and when it got warmer out we played outside so I started very early. Then at 5 years old I was playing T-ball and by fourth grade I was playing with seventh graders because back then then they only had teams for 12 and up so I started playing with seventh graders at the time and it just went from there,” Ryan said.

“Ever since then, I just have always loved it and had such a passion for it and now I am coaching something I have always had a love for and I have been coaching since 2003 and coaching varsity since 2005 starting at Forest Lake for 11 years, then switched to coach for University of St. Thomas for a season. After that, I went to Centennial for a season then in 2017 I got a teaching position at Stillwater, so I was an assistant coach for Bob Beetle for two years then COVID happened and Beetle decided not to continue with coaching and now this is my second year as head coach here,” Ryan added.

With many main goals to get through the season strong, they are hoping to get to meet new people, having positive attitudes and not letting things get to their heads to get them down. One thing they can do to keep them going is play extra hard in practice to keep them all motivated and positive about playing and just overall have fun.

“One of my main goals for the season is to meet new people and make it to state hoping we win this time, we lift each other up when they are feeling down and just make sure everyone has a positive attitude,” junior Mikenna Johnson said.

Team captains this year are all the seniors: Cat Smetana, Maddie Johnson, Keira Murphy, Taylor Gray, Gaby Lafavor and Amber Scalia, along with the coaches Ryan, Amy Hoff and Jen Zadar.

They have a few different teams they will need to play with their all because of these schools also having a strong team. With them being such a strong team, the girls will have to play their best and put in all effort they can.

“Our hardest competition this season should be White Bear Lake they are a strong team and they are in our section and conference, Woodbury always improves throughout the season, Cottage Grove is always strong too and they have really good coaching and then Forest Lake is good too and that is the only team we lost to twice last year,” Ryan explained.

The girls all have such positive attitudes about playing and they believe that they will do great this year and make it to state and hopefully win it all. They have great coaches and as long as they stay strong staying on the same page as players and do not get down when one thing does not work out how it is wanted.