An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

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Softball strives for another successful season

Junior+Chloe+Peyton+practices+ground+balls+before+the+Knights+game+against+Washington+on+August+23rd.+
Ellie Palaian
Junior Chloe Peyton practices ground balls before the Knights game against Washington on August 23rd.

After acquiring the longest winning streak in Midtown softball history at  9-9 and placing third in Region 5-AAAAA,  the softball team is looking for an even better season this year after falling short from the state playoffs last season.

Despite the season starting off with a 18-0 loss to Villa Rica on Aug. 10.,  Senior Mia Jurkovic believes that the Knights can overcome a rough start, and has hope for improvement. 

“Our hardest match is Villa Rica,” Jurkovic said. “They have a great program and we’re looking forward to seeing how well we can compare in the next matchup.”

Jurkovic said that Region 5-AAAAA competition is getting stronger, but with a strong core returning from last season, she feels they can compete with the better teams.

“The region is looking very strong this year but we’re hoping to make it to the state tournament in October,” Jurkovic said.

There have been crucial changes in the program including new coaches and a rising number of  upperclassmen. Senior Stella Maximuk feels the team has a strong bond this year. 

“I’m very excited about the new coaching staff, and I think they are really put together, and it’s gonna really help the team succeed,” Maximuk said. “I’m really hoping that everybody can work hard, and everyone’s dedicated to the team so that we can do well and have fun throughout the season.” 

Maximuk said the new coaching staff has been helping the team with softball skills whilst maintaining a personal connection to the players. 

“The coaching staff is very dedicated,” Maximuk said. “All three coaches really care about us, which is a nice change because the softball program is normally overlooked since we’re pretty small. This year we’re gonna focus on gaining attention and success, and growing our program.”

Junior Megan Bookspun compliments the coaches and their developmental skills, and specifically assistant coach Eric Twombley.

“Assistant coach Twombley has been doing a great job at keeping us in shape and preparing us throughout the preseason activities,”  Bookspun said.

The team started practicing in May with workouts that individually focused on each player’s development.

“Over the summer, we’ve been doing conditioning,” Maximuk said. “So usually it’s a lot of fielding and there’s some days where we will focus on fielding and hand eye coordination, and other days batting and working on our form.”

As the Knights have continued to improve their record year by year, Bookspun hopes that pattern will continue this year.

“We’re essentially just trying to help the team grow, and improve from last year’s success,” Bookspun said. “I’m most excited to play Chapel Hill again because they were definitely one of the teams that were better than us last year, and now that we’re better we definitely have a chance against them this year.”

Maximuk hopes the Knights can improve their ranking in Region 5-AAAAA so they can make the playoffs.

“In the region we play in, there’s certain teams like VIlla Rica and Chapel Hill that are always really good,” Maximuk said. “But the inner city teams are really unpredictable and we won’t know how good they are until we play them.”

Jurkovic said the expectations this year are high with the team being filled with many experienced players and supportive coaches. 

“We’re hoping to beat our record from last year, the best season for the team in Midtown history,” Jurkovic said. “We have a revamped coaching staff that is super excited about where the program is moving toward. We’re super appreciative of everything they do and looking forward to seeing how far we go in the region.”

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About the Contributors
Charlie Kane
Charlie Kane, Sports Associate Managing Editor
Charlie Kane is a senior and this is his third year on the Southerner. When he's not writing, he plays basketball, soccer and hangs out with his friends. He is looking forward to writing more pieces in the future for the Southerner.
Ellie Palaian
Ellie Palaian, Sports Managing Editor
Ellie Palaian is a senior and this is her third year on staff for The Southerner. She plays varsity soccer for Midtown High and is excited to write for the paper this year.

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