Q: Now that you're with a group of girls who have come up the ranks with you as their head coach, where do you believe this program is headed?
I believe the group is headed in the right direction. We have continued to see progress in our defense, offence, baserunning, and pitching. More and more athletes are doing stuff on their own over the summer which makes a huge difference in the level of play. I'm hoping to continue seeing more girls get involved with travel teams each summer and focusing in the weight room.
Q: What challenges have you faced in your first handful of years as a head softball coach at the Class 2 level, especially with so much good competition in the area?
I think the hardest thing that I had to face as a head coach was my age. I was young and not much older than many of players my first few years coaching. This made being an authority figure and coach hard. Luckily, I have continued to grow as a coach and have attended conferences to make myself better. Coach (Lory) Passley and I try to find new drills to bring into practice at the beginning of the seasons and have learned to not be afraid to ask coaches from around the area about other teams. I think we have developed our own coaching style that compliments one another well.
Q: Where do you guys see yourselves headed in the last couple of weeks of the season?
A: We face a lot of good competition for our last regular season games. We should be able to compete well as long as we are focused and have our mind set on the same goal. They will be tough teams, but they will push us to come out and compete well at districts.
Q: You guys started off strong, and a couple of miscues have cost you some games in the Clarence Cannon. That being said, Brookfield really doesn't have any glaring losses, and you have yet to lose to a team under .500. Down the homestretch, where does a major rally begin?
A: We have picked up some big wins this year & have won more games in the CCC than in years past. I think the girls will come out aggressively and wanting more from here on out. In reality, a major rally needs to start at practice and into opening night of districts.
Q: Furthermore, if your team is able to make a late-season playoff run, how would it happen? What do you think that spark plug would be for a talented, upperclassman-heavy team like yours?
A: I think the girls are more eager than ever to make it out of the first round of districts. One of our goals is to win a district game this year. This is 100% doable and if our girls step into the leadership role when needed and get a jump offensively early, I think we can succeed.
Q: Talk a little bit about this group of girls, plus how their bonds off the field have helped the Bulldogs come to life.
A: The girls this season all have common goals, which we have talked about at practice multiple times. These goals make the girls come together and want to do better. They want to go places and win big games. They have figured out that not having a bond of some sort will never result in success and is just detrimental to the team as a whole. This group has worked well together and continues to get along off of the field. I believe that contributes to a lot. Limit the drama and act as a family and play with passion.