Softball continues rebuild with young team

With a record of 3-23 in regular season scheduled games last year, the softball team is looking to sweep a couple more wins under its belt as the 2018 season approaches.

“The biggest struggle was lack of experience at the varsity level. While we are still fairly   young, I think the experience will help this season,” head coach Steve Chidester said.

Chidester said that the team’s biggest focus will be on stressing the fundamentals and sorting out who is best for the varsity and junior varsity levels.

“We have a nice group of young ladies that are willing to put the time in and are committed to their school.”

Among the group of ladies who have put time in over the years, captains/leaders are Megan Keough and Tehya Tournier, the only two seniors of the softball program in their fifth and final season.

Chidester said that both players lead by example and are willing to do whatever is good for the team.

Another set of positive leaders for the team are juniors Cara Forsblom, Kaylie Kleinschmidt and Breanna Speck.

“They bring confidence and discipline to our team, as well.”

In this up and coming season, Forsblom will be continuing without the team’s starting catcher and her older sister, Leah Forsblom, who graduated class of 2017.

Both Chidester and Forsblom spoke highly of Leah, stating that she was always a positive leader and set the game tempo every time she stepped onto the field.

“Our team last year was a solid hard working team. We had one senior who played every game with high spirit and went 100 percent with effort. Having Leah gone this year will be very different for me since I have always shared the sport with her,” Forsblom said.  “The returning players are all the same except for the one, making it easier to have a bond. We have the chance to keep working on what we left last year.”

This season, Kleinschmidt said that she is looking forward to playing with her friends and to have a good team chemistry.

“As a team, the main goal would be to work together and better our teammates. My personal goal, however, is to assist others and be a great teammate to all those playing,” she said.

Chidester said that all of the returning players have brought good leadership and a positive attitude to both offseason and the start of in-season practices.

He also expects this year’s team to be more competitive by being stacked and solid at each position on defense, and he said he hopes to be more productive offensively.

“We have a very energetic group, and we are blessed with some very good young talent.  I really like what I see.”

Forsblom agreed and said that although the girls are still young, there’s a lot of potential that can be turned into success if hard work is applied.

“My team goal this season is to win a lot more games than our past years. With our hard work I know it can be done. I think our focus is to come together as a team to focus on teamwork and play with more intensity,” she said.

The girls’ first game is May 22 against the East High Trojans at 5:30 and 7 p.m. at East High School in Waterloo.

“I am looking forward to great weather, great practices and a great season,” Chidester said.

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