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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Softball team focuses on rebuilding skill levels, team bonds

For the past two years, the Yutan-Mead Patriots started the year with their sights on the post-season, ending with a state runner-up or championship finish. This year, however, the team is focused on rebuilding their skill levels after losing nine seniors. 

“Seven out of the nine seniors from last year started varsity, so I think we just all know that we have a lot to work on,” said senior Maycee Hays, one of the two returning starters for the 2023 season. 

To improve their skill level, the Patriots have been putting in the work during both the summertime and the regular season.

At the home game against Bishop Neumann, sophomore Jordan Campbell catches a strike. This is Campbell’s second year starting varsity. (Ginger Eikmeier)

“Over the summer, we went to open fields twice a week and we just worked on the basics. During the season, we show up to practice every day and practice hard with the time we have,” said Hays. 

Since many players who held key leadership roles graduated, others are stepping up to rebuild their team’s bond. By strengthening their bonds, the players are hoping to bring back the family aspect the team has had in the past.

“Our biggest thing is to get to know each other and really play as a family like we did last year,” said sophomore Jordyn Campbell, the other returning starter. “That’s what I believe got us so far last year.” 

While improving the family aspect of their team, the upperclassmen are hoping to set good examples for their younger teammates. They hope these examples will benefit the younger teammates beyond just this season.

“I’m just going to hopefully set a good example for the younger girls and try to help as much as I can to show them our culture and how to keep it going,” said senior Andi Nelson.

Along with having some of the older players step up, some of the underclassmen have taken on various new roles as well. These can include roles like filling a varsity position, having a leadership position or even stepping up to cheer during gameday.

Sophomore Delaney Shield throws a pitch against Tekamah Herman. Shield has had a total of 36 stikeouts so far this season. (Ginger Eikmeier)

“I’m the starting pitcher for varsity now,” said sophomore Delaney Shield. “We’re kind of starting over in a way, and we’re learning how to play with each other. We’re already doing a lot better than when we first started.”

Besides adjusting to new teammates, the softball players are also adjusting to a new head coach, Brooke Campbell, who has been an assistant coach for the past few years. There are also two new assistant coaches, Jaiden Wood and Alyssa Grewcock. Returning from past years is assistant coach Randy Siske. Although the new head coach is implementing different strategies on the team this year, many of the softball players agreed how positive her new strategies are. 

“Coach Campbell has a different way of doing things for sure, but I think they’re definitely good strategies. She’s really understanding and is always willing to help,” said Nelson.

To help the team see as much success as possible this season, the players are keeping their expectations high for this coming season. In this way, they can further teach fundamentals, create bonds and more. 

“Just because the team is different from last year doesn’t mean we can’t still put in as much effort,” Hays said. “I’m mainly trying to show by example so that they can see what is expected of Patriot softball.”

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About the Contributor
Loganne Barta, Junior writer
Loganne Barta is a junior and in her third year of journalism.  She enjoys writing features and sports stories.  Outside journalism, Loganne is involved in FCA, NHS, FFA, student council and showing livestock through 4-H.
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