Patriots work toward end-of-season success


Courtesy Photo

The Yutan-Mead Patriots are all smiles after winning the Capitol Conference championship. In front from left to right are Coach Glatter, Sophia Brennan, Kaiti Hansen, Alyssa Husing, Alexis Polak, Ella Watts, Laycee Josoff, Taylor Novak, Shaylynn Campbell and Coach Campbell. In back are Coach Siske, Beth Brennan, Addi Smith, Kylie King-Ennis, Adie Gale, Maycee Hays, Rylee Kirchmann, Jordyn Campbell, Delaney Shield, Molly Besch, Andi Nelson, Coach Helmick and Coach Watts.

Last year’s state runner-up team Yutan/Mead Patriots have high expectations set but are already off to a great start with an 25-1 record this season.

“We’ve been doing really well,” right-fielder Taylor Novak said. 

The season started off slow during open fields in the summer, however. The new and returning players were getting back into the rhythm of the season. 

 “The freshmen had to adapt to the new team and new environment, while the returning players were getting used to playing together as a team again,” catcher Maycee Hays said.

One thing head coach Ryan Glatter noticed from open field practices during the summer to the season now was “how tough” the players are. 

“The overall effort is consistent across all classes,” Glatter said.

The players agree that consistent effort has been a main focus.

We’ve definitely practiced very hard this year because obviously things start out slow and they just get better as you go,” Hays said.

The hours of work that the Patriots have put in throughout the season are showing in their wins. 

“I think we’ve definitely earned every [win] we’ve gotten so far this season, from the better teams to the not-so-good teams,” Hays said.

One of these wins came against the Patriots’ biggest competition, last year’s Class C champion, Bishop Neumann. After the 11-1 win, the Patriots moved up to being the number one seeded team.

“Getting that revenge of losing to them last year was very nice,” Hays said. “And we obviously crushed them out of that game because we were so intense.” 

Although the players were excited to be able to beat Neumann, Glatter doesn’t want the team to become overconfident.

Senior Ella Watts hits the ball against Fort Calhoun. The Patriots beat Fort Calhoun 10-1. (Courtesy Photo)

It’s early in the season. Winning is always a good thing,” Glatter said. “Beating teams a second time or more, it gets harder.” 

Even though the Patriots are off to a great start, there is always room for improvement. 

“I think [we can work on] communication and maybe throwing. I think sometimes we overthrow or miss someone,” Novak said.

The Patriots still have a lot of work ahead of them before they reach their full potential, but they have a lot of strengths to fall back on, such as experience. Most of the varsity starters play summer ball and have been playing softball since they were very young.

“I have been playing softball ever since a very young age and instantly fell in love with it,” Novak said.

Another strength is the bonds between the players. The Patriots have learned that this can be really helpful in a game.

“I think just understanding each other’s skills and personality and just what each person brings to the team is very beneficial,” Hays said.

The Patriots are hoping to draw on their strengths and overcome any weaknesses to accomplish big goals they’ve set for themselves.

“ [My] goal’s coming into the season definitely to win state this year instead of getting second,” Hays said.