GHCA students Makayla Watson, Jennah Carver and Rylee Warman make the 35 mile trip every day to meet their new teammates and Coach Shawn Beaudoin for the start of softball practice. The coach says the addition of the three new players has helped the team become stronger.
“It’s absolutely necessary this year” said Beaudoin. “Last year we had just nine and we had to ask a couple of the girls to just put on uniforms. This year without them we would probably be in the same boat.”
East Grand Athletic Director and Baseball Caoch Chris Young and GHCA Athletic Director Barrett Potter talked about forming a co-op team to give student athletes a chance to play a spring sport.
“For us it started as a question about baseball,” said Young. “We hadn’t had a baseball team for two consecutive years. I know we had some freshmen and eighth graders coming up who wanted to play the sport. We still didn’t have a critical amount to have a team. We started with a conversation about baseball and then Barrett added the thought that he hadn’t had a softball team that spring and were we interested in that.”
East Grand and GHCA have played against each other on the basketball court in the past and the players and coach all say it was smooth transition from friendly rivals to teammates.
“The looks of the first day- just the uncertainty of how it was going to go,” said Beaudoin. ” They lost that very quickly they were laughing as hard as as the rest of them now.”
Teammate Allison McEwen said, “I was a little worried it was going to be a little weird because we play them in basketball, but it was fun. It’s really important I love having these girls here it’s a huge help.”
Teammate Rylee Warman added, “I am very excited to be playing varsity softball because we didn’t think we would have enough numbers. I was kind of nervous, but once we got here they were very accepting.”
It’s a big committment for the players but also for the parents of the GHCA girls who transport the girls back and forth to practice.
“I think it is a great opportunity for them to play softball,” said parent Tammy Carver. “Softball is a great sport for them to participate in.”
Young says the team will also play a couple of home games in the Shiretown to give parents and fans of the GHCA students a chance to watch them in their home town.