Some rebuilding projects are bigger than others. For the Euless Trinity softball team, with a new coach and a majority of the team comprised of freshmen and sophomores, this season’s rebuilding is a lot like starting a whole new program.
“In some ways it is like starting over,” first-year coach Jeremy Dettmer said. “There are some kids who have played in the past, but only two are playing a position they played last year. For seven out of our nine, really, this is their first taste of varsity either in a new position or at all.”
Nathalie Stephens is the lone senior on the roster.
“It’s been pretty weird,” she admitted. “Last year, we had a few more juniors, so I wasn’t expecting to be the only senior. But, things happen and life happens.”
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This monster of a youth movement has met with limited success in the win-loss column, but Dettmer is neither surprised nor phased by it.
“I knew exactly what I was walking into,” he said. “It was an opportunity that, if you could turn this around, it would be something rewarding for not only myself, but for the kids. They’ve done a really good job of adjusting and trying to learn and compete against really good teams that have a lot more experience.”
Last year, we had a few more juniors, so I wasn’t expecting to be the only senior. But, things happen and life happens.
- Trinity senior Nathalie Stephens
Freshmen like catcher Mattisyn Brown and Brooke Kirkland have made the leap to varsity ball and shown impressive progress. Brown has thrown out 11 runners on attempted stolen bases and is batting over .400 on the season.
Sophomore pitcher Ashleigh Clark, who got a taste of 6A varsity play last season, has also improved.
“When she’s pitching well and our defense plays well, we have a chance,” Dettmer sad.
The Lady Trojans have won just six of their 27 games this season, and you might think young players facing this kind of adversity could easily choose to roll over. But you won’t see that with this group.
“We’ve had our moments,” Dettmer said. “There are times when they’re down and frustrated and they don’t know what to do because they’re doing their best and it’s just not working. It’s hard to keep their chins up. It’s all about staying positive and controlling the things we can control. As long as we do that, we seem to be getting through those tough situations.”
The players also know they’re making strides, even if others can’t always see it.
“We really don’t get down on ourselves. We know we can’t get out of a slump unless we’re upbeat and trying to be encouraging,” Stephens said. “We definitely have grown a lot. At the beginning of the season we were shuffling around a lot and figure out where everyone goes.
“Now, I think everyone has kind of clicked and so we’re all working together really well. I know it’s hard to see it on paper, but we definitely have come a long way from the beginning of the season.”