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The Voice of the Wildkats

The Student News Site of Willis High School

The Voice of the Wildkats

The Student News Site of Willis High School

The Voice of the Wildkats

Softball welcomes new coaches, new turf for new season

2024+WILDKAT+SOFTBALL.+The+teams+prepares+to+face+the+tough+13-6A+district.+
photo or infographic by WILDKAT SOFTBALL
2024 WILDKAT SOFTBALL. The teams prepares to face the tough 13-6A district.

Softball tryouts being held Friday, January 12th and Saturday, January 13th equals the start of a new season which means a new beginning. The softball program is seeing multiple changes, a new field, new coaches, and new girls. The most exciting part by far is the new field. 

“I am thrilled to set foot on the new field alongside this incredible group of girls,” head coach Leechelle Lara said. “To be the first group to say that you played/coached on the new turf is pretty cool. This moment signifies the conclusion of one chapter and the start of a brand-new one, and we should be blessed to know that we get to be the authors of it. A heartfelt thank you to the entire Willis community.”

 Another very important and exciting new part of the program is the new coaching staff. While two of the coaches are returning coaches, there are still two new faces to the program coaches Kayci Moore and Kacy Spivey. 

“I was a teacher here last year so I’m not entirely new, but this year has been full of adjustments so I have just learned to roll with the punches,” Moore said. “Having such a close coaching staff has been the most effective part of my journey. We have been communicating since the summer about this upcoming season which has been a huge adjustment from previous coaching positions.”

The new coaches are  looking forward to their first season as Wildkats.

“I have relied on my peers here at work, including the coaches I coach with, the APs, and Mr. King,” Spivey said. “They have all been great to me. I am most excited to get to know the girls more, work with them on their skills and help them become the best players they can be.”

The preparation for this softball season started when the previous season stopped. Not only preparation to play on the field but preparation to stay strong and be mentally ready. Other preparations have been taken into place thanks to Lara.

“The upcoming softball season is an exciting opportunity for our team’s growth and development. We have been emphasizing teamwork, and fostering a positive team culture,” Lara said. “I’m confident that the energy within the team will translate into on-field success. Our focus is not just on winning games, but also on the overall development of our players as athletes and individuals.”

The field progress had allowed the coaching staff to change their game plan.

“As we gear up for the upcoming season, navigating the challenges of Shelly Field not being complete for skill-focused practices has certainly made me think outside of the box,” Lara said. “Despite this hurdle, we utilized our time by prioritizing other crucial elements of the game that sometimes take a back seat when solely concentrating on skills.”

The team has worked harder in the weightroom and with conditioning during the office season.  They have also looked at the core values that comprise the team they strive to be.

“Our approach began by focusing on strength development under the guidance of Coach Anthony in the weight room,” Lara said. “His expertise and commitment to our student-athletes have proven invaluable. Additionally, we revamped our conditioning regimen this fall, aligning it more closely with the specific demands of softball. Beyond the physical aspects, we dedicated considerable time to defining core values that summarize what it means to be a representative of Willis Softball. We recognize the importance of instilling a strong sense of identity and unity within our team.”

As Lara has been preparing for this season she has also been working hard to be the best she can for the girl stepping into a new position as the head coach. The adjustments made may not be major because she is a familiar face to most of the girls 

“I don’t believe that major adjustments needed to be made,” she said. “The head coaches who preceded me have done an outstanding job maintaining the high standards that have made Willis Softball compatible with excellence. Before taking on the role of head coach, I had the privilege of serving as an assistant in the program for a couple of years, gaining valuable insights. In the coaching profession, continual learning and understanding for each group of student-athletes are essential.”

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About the Contributor
Kelsie is a junior at Willis High School. She has recently become a staff member of the Voice of the Wildkats. She is a member of the Willis softball program student council and  National Honor Society. In her free time, she likes being active, cooking, outdoors, playing with her pets, and enjoys watching movies. Kelsie also coaches preschool gymnastics. After she graduates she plans to become and family divorce lawyer.  You can reach her through her school email [email protected]
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