Over the course of a few years, softball at Homer High School has gained a great reputation. Almost every year since the program started, the team has either won the state championship or been runners up. They have also been academic champions six times since 2004. What makes the softball team so successful?
Could it be the sense of comradery amongst the players? According to Maggie Graham and Miranda Beach one weekend the team spent close to 30 hours together. Graham said, “We’re really close. We have team sleepovers, and we are all friends outside of softball, so bonding continues off the field.”
Or could it be the way they practice? Every day they do circuits that involve lifting weights, throwing medicine balls, and working with an agility ladder. After circuits they move on to batting, fielding, and situational plays for the majority of practice. At the end they do sprints and abdominal workouts.
Maybe the reason for their success is their coaching. When asked if coaching was a part of their success the girls said, “Yes! Bill Bell has devoted an incredible amount of time and money to our program. We dedicate a lot of our success to his dedication to us and our program. We also have Mary Jo, who is a recent and great addition to the softball team. We love her intensity and her Saturday morning workouts!”
Another potential reason for their success is goal setting. Every week each person sets their own personal goals, and for the team. After the week is done, they sit down to see if their goals have been met.
Besides comradery, practice and goal setting, they have determination.“The satisfaction of a hard fought game where everyone has come together and given it their all. Also the determination to be relentless and strive to get better after a loss,” Beach said this is what she and most of her teammates play for. Graham and Beach think with this determination and drive they have the potential to win state. Beach said, “We have the potential, however we need to be confident not cocky.” Graham then added, “State is an aspiration; however, we are not focused on state, but rather on the next pitch.”