Not Just A Team

Softball program believes in each other and proves that they're a family

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Not Just A Team

Varsity and Jv come together in a team bonding experience for dinner at a teammates house the night before everyone's first game.

Varsity and Jv come together in a team bonding experience for dinner at a teammates house the night before everyone's first game.

Coach Clements

Varsity and Jv come together in a team bonding experience for dinner at a teammates house the night before everyone's first game.

Coach Clements

Coach Clements

Varsity and Jv come together in a team bonding experience for dinner at a teammates house the night before everyone's first game.

Charley Orf, Reporter

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 When athletes, like softball players are asked to explain what it means to be a team, we get a variety of responses. People often say that to be on a team it means to work hard not only for yourself but for your teammates. It means having each others’ backs through anything and everything. 

“It’s like having a family… knowing that you have 11 other girls behind you that are just as much of a family as your actual family is. Knowing that they always have your back,” freshman Samantha Kozlowski said.  

But what makes Liberty Eagles softball a good team? 

“When there is an error on the field, we don’t blame each other, we help each other out and cheer each other on. The dugout is extremely loud,” Kozlowski said.

Kozlowski looks forward to the rest of this season and hopes that everyone gets closer and better as a team. 

Sophomore Kylee Orf discussed the importance “to work together, know what you’re doing and communication. Also good sportsmanship, helping each other out.” 

You can teach someone how to play, but you will never be able to change people’s attitude towards something. Having a good attitude about the game can almost save it. 

“We work hard, we try our best, we communicate, and we are somewhat close,” she went on to say.  Working hard, having a good attitude can just change your way of looking at a win or a loss. Orf looks forward to the rest of this season and wants to be able to win a lot more games. 

“Personally, I want to do good with my batting,” she said. “I want everyone to finally just come together and understand the concept of the game.”

Understanding the game is very important and you have to be able to understand what it means to play it. 

“To play together and just have faith for each other and being together,” sophomore Abbie Cook said. “It is important to believe in your teammates, you need to have each others backs.” 

Haleigh McCune
Coach Clements gathers his varsity team during a very intense game to let them know what needs to be done.

What makes Liberty Eagles softball successful? 

Cook said that her team doesn’t give up.

“Like in the game against East, we were down but then we worked hard and we got back up,” she said. “Everyone has their own little skills.” She looks forward to the rest of this season and hopes that everyone will be more positive. 

When senior Katelyn Reichle, who has been on varsity since her freshman year, was asked what it means to be a team, she responded “Just working together and coming together and knowing that everything you do isn’t just for you, it’s for everyone.” 

When you’re working hard with a team of any sport you usually have something that is motivating you. You’re working for everyone on your team. 

“Communication is a big one, and working together,” Reichle said. “The fact that we are close, even outside of school shows in our playing.” She hopes that they keep getting better and to stay positive.

Not only do the players have an opinion but so do the coaches. You have to have some good strong and positive coaches in order to have a strong and healthy team. 

When Coach Hellman, the coach for junior varsity softball was interviewed, he gave a very impactful response.

“Whenever you are a part of a larger group and you have a shared goal, I think it’s all about taking care of the person next to you,” Hellman said. “I think that’s where people get the term family from. When you’re in a family you do things that don’t always just benefit you, but more benefit the group as a whole. A good team is one that has that chemistry and has that ability to take care of the person next to them before themselves.”

He has a simple philosophy. That each player is the same and equals to each other. 

“We all come from the same place,” Hellman said. “We go to school together, we live in the same areas, and we all go to the same places. It kinda creates a situation where you have a lot of shared experiences. Whenever you have shared experiences, good or bad, people tend to start thinking the same and they start to just grow up under the same environment. Being that we’re all from the same place, living some of the same things every single day, I think that’s what gives us a good chemistry. Everyone is different, for sure, but at Liberty we all seem to grow a little bit tighter.” 

That is what makes a good team, and that’s what makes Liberty so special. 

He also went on to add,”We’re a young school and all of our growing pains are together. I think that especially early on in our schools history, we do that well. On the softball side, we all work hard together. Everybody has the same goal and everybody is striving for the same things.” 

Jaxon Drezek
JV warming up while Coach Hellman instructs them.

Coach Hellman is looking forward to the rest of this season and is  hoping to create a good culture with Liberty softball.

“Our varsity squad and our coaching staff strive to build Liberty softball culture,” Hellman said. “I hope that over this season we can all file into that line, so that way as we grow older and as we grow as softball players and softball coaches, we cannot only be successful on the diamond, but we can be successful in life. I want to win softball games just like all of you girls do, but there’s a lot of other things in life other than just softball. I think that if we can learn some of those lessons and grow together under this culture, and win some softball games while we’re at it, then that’ll be considered a success.” 

The coach for varsity softball, Coach Clements, explained how it’s important to understand that the team has a common goal. 

“Everyone… will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal,” Clements said. “At the end of the day they don’t want to achieve that goal for themselves, they want to achieve it for the people that they are working with.” It’s important to have players that want success not only for themselves but for their other teammates.  He wants his athletes to have fun and get better not only as softball players, but better as people. 

“If they can walk away from this season feeling like they improved as a softball player, but also can walk away applying skills that they learned out here into the classroom and into their everyday lives, then us and the coaching staff in our program had a successful season,” Clements said. “It’s not just wins and losses.”  

It’s really not all about winning and losing. Sure, it’s a major part of the game. It’s also important to learn from the game; learn not only how to play and how to work hard for the game. Learn how it teaches you to look at life from a different perspective, using what you learned from working with a team in real life situations. Looking back at the things that you learned and achieved not only as a team, but as a family.