Timberview softball coach Donya Mooney and her team have recently worked out a way for some younger local softball talent to get an idea of what the high school game is all about.
The Lady Wolves head coach also coaches a 10U select team called the Wolf Pack that Mooney said several of her high school players are mentoring.
Mooney said that the genesis of this project came about last year when she as coaching a youth team.
“I coached a group of kids starting in August this year, and then we created our own team in December,” Mooney said. “So this was a group of kids that we called “the Wolf Pack,” and there parents wanted me to keep coaching them. So we picked up a couple of more kids.”
Mooney said that the younger girls are involved in a variety of ways.
“The Wolf Pack girls come to all of the games and they know the high school players,” Mooney said. “They are bat girls, and they'll do things for one another. They'll make each other goody bags and encouraging-type things. For instance, our players made autographed posters for each of the kids.”
The Timberview coach said the team support is also reciprocated by her high school players.
“We had a tournament yesterday, as a matter of fact, and two of the high school girls came and watched them play in Cedar Hill,” Mooney said.
Mooney said she decided to start the program in order to see what it was like to coach younger players and said that it has turned out to be a great blessing.
“It was just an opportunity to coach younger kids,” Mooney said. “I had never coached a 10U team or a select team or anything like that. Someone asked me to coach, and I kind of fell in love with it. We have a good time, and I'm teaching them the game. They are so impressionable. They pick up on things and they learn really fast, and at that age, that is when they really have to learn the game.”
While it would seem to be a great opportunity to instill her own system at a young age, Mooney said that is not the case when it comes to her 10U team.
“It's just an opportunity to work with the kids, as opposed to preparing them for my program, because I don't honestly know how many of them will come to Timberview,” Mooney said. “I think that maybe one or two live in my zone, but things change over the years, who knows. I think the most important thing is the bond they are creating with other kids. I think it is something that will help them wherever they will go.”
Timberview's Chelsea Luddeke is one of the players most involved in the relationship between Timberview and the Wolf Pack.
Luddeke was a bat girl for the Wolves when she was younger and said that it makes her feel good to be able to do the same thing today.
“I think it just helps to have a mentor and be involved, because they come and watch us play and we go and watch them play,” Luddeke said. “They come to most of our games and cheer us on. It's an amazing feeling.”