It is the goal of every Marian team to see its title up on the banners in the East Gym. Last year, the Varsity softball team chased that goal like they were running toward home plate. After a 12-0 win in the semifinals of the 2014 State Softball Tournament, the team knew they would make the banner, so according to the team, they danced instead of warming up.
This season, with that second-place joy still fresh in their minds, the team members are working harder than ever to make each other proud. “Every time we have practice I feel like I am with my actual sisters … All of us are so excited to go and spend time together and play the game that we love,” senior Emily Cheloha, third baseman, said.
A new coaching staff, hours of hard work and the strong bond of sisterhood have allowed the softball team to improve greatly in the past few years.
“It does not matter the role… on the team, everybody treats each other respectfully, and the chemistry is about as high as I’ve ever had,” Head Coach Mike Heard said. Heard and Assistant Coaches Chad Perkins, Aaron Groff, Melissa Groff and Katie Holmes support the team and encourage them to enjoy what they are doing as the girls push themselves harder each day.
“We are so close to each other and have so much fun together that it doesn’t feel like we have to be there. We want to be there, and we know we have the potential to go far,” Cheloha said. She was proven correct when the girls got third in the 2015 Metros on Sept. 14 at Westside.
Every single player has a passion for what she does and a love for her sisters that goes beyond just being on a team. “I play for something more than just myself. I am not going just to get good stats or promote myself; I play to have my team’s back,” junior Melissa Geis, left fielder, said. The team builds on each other’s strengths as they work hard, and they never forget to have fun and laugh a lot.
As of Sept. 28, the 2015 Varsity softball team was ranked first in the Nebraska Class A softball rankings and had an overall record of 20-2, but neither of these achievements is as extraordinary as the love these girls pour into their sport. Before every game, the girls draw an “M” in the dirt and pray together, reminding themselves that, no matter how many times they run the bases, they are always running toward their sisters.