The Foothill High School softball team returns to the field this year after the pandemic stopped them from participating in games last year. The team is back with new strategies, players and an uplifting attitude.
When FHS transitioned to distance learning last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic many sports teams struggled to keep up their morale and participation. For some sports that also meant not being able to play games or be a part of events. Unfortunately, the softball team was one of those unable to play games as a result of a lack of players.
“Last year there weren’t many girls that were able to come out due to Covid,” softball team captain Maria Milligan said. “People wanted to play it safe and we all respected and understood that. However, that meant we wouldn’t get the season we were looking forward to.”
Despite not having a season last year, the softball team did not let that get their hopes down for this year in terms of participation.
“This year we had nearly thirty girls come and try out, which is huge,” Milligan said. “Being able to have all the positions full and being surrounded by girls who wholeheartedly want to play has made every practice put in last year so worth it.”
It is no surprise that new players quickly find themselves welcomed and appreciated.
“This is my first year ever playing softball, and so far it has had quite the impression on me.” Softball team junior Elektra Harris said. “I enjoy practices and the energy on the team is always supportive and encouraging.”
Some of the returning players have found it a great relief to return back to the field.
“It feels really good coming back to softball,” softball team junior Angelika Abuda said. “There was a year when I didn’t get to play the sport but I’m really happy we got to play together again this year,” softball team junior Angelika Abuda said. “I didn’t really play with the girls last year because I chose to play basketball and they only allowed us to play one sport.”
To others, the team has become a great source of comfort and support.
“Since we didn’t have a season last year, we did more bonding than competing,” softball team senior Yadhira Torres said, “which I am really really grateful for because that’s what and who I hang on to when I’m beating myself up in the sport. It gets hard out there when you don’t catch what you need to catch, when you’re not fast enough to get the ball where it needs to be, but my girls are supportive, and they make it easier to not cry and get back up on my feet instead.”
The happiness of returning would not be short-lived as the team quickly went into the games this season with determination.
“We have scrimmaged 3 teams: Yuba City, Marysville, and some team called the ‘Pirates,’” Harris said. “They were divine. Absolute monstrous players…Our first game against Rio Linda was a loss, but during our second against Natomas we won 27-8. It sure was exciting, especially since it was the softball’s first win in 3 years.”
This win has brought great joy and boosted the hopes of taking another win.
“First one in three years baby!” Said Torres. “I was proud to be part of that. May God help us bring home more wins. Speaking it into existence.”
What was this team’s strategy that allowed them to finally get a win? An uplifting attitude and undying support.
“One thing our Coaches really emphasize is how important it is that we continue to cheer, we continue to keep going, and we continue to encourage each other no matter what the score is looking like,” Milligan said.
Although that wouldn’t be the only thing that sure has helped the team’s morale.
“Being the captain is an honor above all,” Milligan said. “I’m grateful that God has allowed me to step into that position. I love my girls and I love the spirit they carry themselves with. While at times it feels like I have 13 kids…I continuously remind my girls to affirm themselves, to remind themselves that they are capable, they are worthy, and they can do this.”