Sometimes it takes leaving something to fully appreciate it.
Just ask Alex Kovacs.
The sophomore outfielder for the Weatherford College Coyotes softball team almost gave up the sport she loves after a year at McNeese State University. Now, her passion for the game has been rekindled at Weatherford College.
"I played there for a semester then I decided to stop playing softball," said Kovacs, a graduate of Forney High School. "Then, in the early part of the following summer I realized that I really missed playing and decided that I wanted to play again. I had played with someone on my select team that played for Weatherford College. She had nothing but good things to say about Coach [Haylee] Williams and her program.
"I contacted my select coach to get in contact with Coach Williams and inform her that I was interested in playing for her and Weatherford College. Coach Williams contacted me and told me to come out. The first day of practice last year was actually the first time she ever saw me play."
Kovacs thrived at WC, earning first team All-Conference honors with a .343 batting average, 10 hits and 10 RBIs.
Kovacs said the sabbatical brought about a new focus for her in softball. She still loves to compete and win, but she is taking a calmer approach to it all.
"I am more relaxed, due to being better prepared for the season and more comfortable with my role on our team," she said.
In 29 games so far this season, she’s hitting .280 with five doubles and 16 RBI.
"I just try to understand the situation on the field, and do my job for the team," she said. "I always try to hit the ball hard every at bat, and put the ball in play. If my hits end up being extra base hits that's even better."
She's not trying to swing harder. In fact, she's not hurrying anything about her game.
"I have focused on slowing down the game, understanding the situation and planning what I need to do," Kovacs said. "Realizing this is my last season at WC, I’m trying to enjoy this season with this team."
With a father who played football for the University of Toledo, Kovacs understands the pressure of sports in college. But she's enjoying the atmosphere at Weatherford College, her teammates and coaches, and winning.
"We work hard, but we have a lot of fun," she said.
And while her softball career at WC has been memorable so far, one thing would put it over the top.
"I like our chances to get to nationals this year. We have a lot of talent on this team and I believe we are a really good," she said. "Someone on this team always seems to come through with a big hit, an awesome play, or delivers a great pitch when it is needed."
As for after this season, she plans to study psychology, though she's not sure where. She would also love to keep her rekindled relationship as softball going at whatever school to which she transfers.
"I know God has a plan for me, and I trust that he will lead me to a university that will be a good fit," she said. "I take every day as an opportunity to get better in all aspects of life."