Softball: Making up for last season

The softball team huddles together for a pregame talk before their games against Leavenworth High School on March 27.

photo courtesy of Ella Boxx

The softball team huddles together for a pregame talk before their games against Leavenworth High School on March 27.

Finally, after a year of school shutdowns due to COVID-19 spring sports are able to start up once again while still taking safety precautions to ensure the safety of players and coaches to prevent another season from being lost.

Last year only about two weeks into spring sports, school shutdowns occurred all across the state, and sports were canceled.

To make up for the last softball season being lost, De Soto High School’s head coach Junelle Woolery has big goals for the team this year.

“We have a great mix of young and experienced players who all want to

win. Our goal is to be the best person and athlete we can be each day. Our goal is always to win our conference, which should then set us up nicely to make a run at State,” Woolery said. 

Not only do coaches have high hopes but so do players. Junior Lauren Cook, third-year player for DHS, is also looking forward to the softball season without any hiccups.

“Games haven’t started yet, but I’m confident that it’s [the season] is going to be a good one,” Cook said. 

To be able to reach these goals, Woolery is making sure the players are taking the precautions that are necessary so everyone stays safe.

“Coaches wear masks at all times, and players wear masks unless they are competing. When we huddle up we make sure to do so in a way that allows for social distancing,” Woolery said. “The girls also scan in each practice with the district Google form so we can keep track of who attends each practice and on what date.”

Even if there is an outbreak amongst the team, Cook is certain that the team will figure it out and do their best to make sure it doesn’t ruin the season.

“COVID hasn’t affected the team yet, there’s still a possibility, but we will figure out a way to get through it if we do get hit with COVID,” Cook said.

Freshman Audrey Ashlock, a first-year player for DHS has been making the most out of the season despite COVID.

“As an incoming player the rest of the team has been really welcoming and supportive, they give great advice and are super helpful,” Ashlock said. 

Due to social distancing, it’s been harder for the team to communicate with one another and is something that Ashlock wants to fix.

“Because we have to social distance it makes it challenging to work as a team on the field. I want the team to be able to improve on their communication on the field,” Ashlock said. 

Cook agreed that improved communication would be important in setting the team up for success.

“The team maybe could use some team bonding to work better together,” Cook said. 

The Wildcats will kick off the season on March 30 against Lansing High School.