Coaches Hope Young Squad Lands NCS Berth


Bianca Pierrat


Claire Mueller, Staff Writer

The 2017 girls’ varsity softball squad features a 12-member roster that includes 7 new players.

“We have a very young team this year. A lot of new players, mainly freshmen and sophomores,” said head coach Wayne Stephens, who has coached Campolindo softball for the past 3 years. “We only have 1 senior on the team, Sydni Gordon, and 1 junior. We have a lot of girls who haven’t played softball before, so lots of inexperience. The girls are working hard and they’re coming along.”

Sophomore Tara McAteer explained her team’s hierarch:  “We have about 3 competitive players, and then 2 other girls have been playing for a while. For everyone else, this is their 1st year,” said McAteer.

One might think that having a majority of players on the squad who’ve never before played the game might create strife.  Yet, the Cougars appear to be managing it well. “I think it’s a lot more positive than last year,” said sophomore Katie Poole, a 2-year team veteran. “There’s quite a few inexperienced players, but they’re working hard and they’re picking up quickly. I try to answer any questions that they have regarding situations on the field.”

According to freshman Emma Rahimi, the sound team chemistry is most evident in the patience and support the veterans show toward those just beginning their softball careers. “We get along well with each other,” said Rahimi. “Half of the team is really good, and half of the team is really bad. When we’re playing they make a lot of small mistakes that experienced players wouldn’t make. It’s okay though because they’re still learning.”

Assistant coach Steve Mitolo agreed. “The girls come out and work hard, and they have been improving. We’re fortunate to have the girls who have played before be really supportive, so they help out too,” he explained.

“They’re really helping the girls along, along with the coaching staff. It makes it easier for them to get up to speed,” Steppens added.

Rahimi admits that it can be frustrating, and even her coaches have struggled at times to be positive and remain encouraging. “[The coaches] do get mad, and sometimes I think it’s okay, but sometimes I don’t think it’s okay,” she said.

While the team is making progress, some players don’t expect to advance to the section playoffs this season. “I don’t think that where we are as a team we can make it to NCS,” said junior Sophia Bartolo.

Bartolo’s coaches are still holding out hope however. “There’s always a chance, that’s always a goal. I think with the league rearrangement we have a very good chance,” said Stephens. “We have a young pitching staff, but they’re ones with experience. Hopefully they can help carry us through. We’re very optimistic all the time, so we’ll have to play the games and see what happens.”