Softball Season Off to a Great Start!

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Cardie McCormick and Jaiden Peltier

Muskego girls softball split into their own teams now and aren’t practicing as one big team anymore. There are four teams this year: Varsity, JV-Black, JV-Red, and JV-White; all teams are doing good so far this season. JV-Black has a great group of athletes that love the game, and not only that, the girls are building more connections with each other just in the three weeks because they have been together so far and have two amazing coaches.

The coaches for the team are Coach Kloc, and Coach Becker. They both have been coaches for a while and they both coach different ages other than High School. “I have been coaching for many years. I have spent these “many” years coaching both basketball and softball.  Currently focusing on softball.  I am truly grateful to coach the JV Black High School girls softball team and also the girls 12 team at STiKS” says Coach Kloc. 

JV Black has a good start to the season Coach Kloc says “The start of the season has been incredible.  The girls have created an atmosphere that is fun, positive, and hardworking.  This group of girls is motivated and determined to give their best 100% of the time.  I am so impressed with the time and dedication these girls give.  It shows in their play and their willingness to make mistakes and learn from them.  They continue to grow together as a team and continue to grow and learn to become the best softball teammate they can be.  Makes me smile!” The girls work hard every game and practice. If they make a mistake the other girls pick the one girl up, the team is always picking one another up. 

Softball players have goals for themselves throughout the season as an individual and as a team too, some goals might be to improve offense or defense or some might be a simple one to just at least get a hit or some playing time. A couple of the players have their goals, “As an individual, my goal is to be the best leader I can be for my team and just be the best me I can be. As a goal for the team, I want us to just have fun while playing the sport we love” says Cardie McCormick. Not only do players have goals for themselves and the team, but so do the coaches. Coach Kloc’s goal is “For the rest of the season is to support the girls in all aspects of their world.  I want the girls to be excited about playing softball and their teammates.  I want them to want to come to practice excited, always putting in 100%, laughing and having fun, and making new positive connections.  Learning about each of the players-what motivates them, what they are interested in and how they learn best!  The girls will set individual goals and team goals and determine how they will reach their goals.”

COVID made an impact on the players in the matter of a year. Last year the girls didn’t get a season because of it, and this season was pushed back too. Kloc says “COVID canceled our last season so this season only brings more excitement! More determination! More willingness to learn! More learning opportunities! More motivation! More grit! More fun”! The game is still the same nothing is different because of COVID, other than the girls can’t shake hands at the end of the game, and they have to wear their mask in the dugout, but when they are batting or in the field they don’t have to wear one. 

JV Black has had multiple games so far this season, and have their ways on how to prepare for the game. “I love the game of softball and I love coaching a group of girls who bring their best 100% of the time!  They inspire me each day and I look forward to practice and games each week.  Preparation for the games comes from their work at practice, the energy they bring, their jokes and of course snacks!  We all enjoy a good snack and song!” says Coach Kloc. Jaiden Peltier also has her game days of how she gets hyped. “Game days start off with everyone getting their eye black done, dynamics and hitting drills. We listen to music, laugh and I can’t forget about Coach Klocs PB&J’s. We hype ourselves up with our playlist we made in the beginning of the season with our favorite songs.”

Coach Kloc getting ready for the game!

The team has a lot of strengths, and one of the biggest strengths is communication. They talk in the field and always pick up one another when they are down. The girls aren’t’ the only ones with strengths on the team. Coaches have them too, and Coach Kloc’s is “Maybe we need to ask coach Becker or the girls what my strengths are.  I hope they would say…helps create a positive environment, has the knowledge for skill development, and motivates the team!” Cardie and Jaiden said “Coach Kloc is all around a happy person which is needed for every softball team. She knows how to act serious when needed, but can get goofy if she needs to make the team laugh. With her coaching us, our wins and loses don’t bring us down as much since she always finds a positive way to think out of losing. ”

Good luck to the rest of the girls this season!

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Checking in with Coach Czech!

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Coach Czech

The girls bonding at open gym, still putting the work in.

 The 2020 Muskego Spring Softball season didn’t happen due to COVID, all the players were getting prepared for the season through the open gyms we had and getting all excited for the season. All the hard work the athletes put into the open gym to get better and stronger for the season. 

Varsity Coach, Coach Czech

This season open gyms have started up and the athletes are ready to get back with training and getting ready for the 2021 season. Open gyms the athletes are working on building their skills with fielding and batting. Not only do the players get to play the sport they love during open gym, but they start building friendships and start forming into one big team. This year there are 4 different teams for softball, the girls act as one big team, no matter If they are on a JV team or Varsity. 

Open gym brings the girls and new friendships together. The girls have chances to practice softball with people they never played with before, by playing dodgeball or having a little hitting time. What most of the girls have fun with at an open gym, is all the music playing and the dancing that goes on! With Coach Czech being the Varsity head coach, he sure loves to see his softball players making good connections with each other. Czech talks about how the girls get closer during open gym “ Open gym is definitely one of the highlights of the spring for me. When everybody returns from Christmas break, many people set their eyes on the long-haul to spring break, but all my eyes are focused on is Softball starting. It’s a great time to get the rust off from winter, hang out with Coaches and meet the rookies, and one of my favorite parts is putting my own glove on and getting in on many of The activities with the team. It is one of the toughest times to be a coach though, as we have to take more of a supervisory role until the season actually begins in March when we can do what we love and actually COACH”. 

Spring 2021 season everyone is getting ready for and is excited that they can finally play again! Coach Czech says “I couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming season than I am right now. We have a solid group of 65 ladies that are excited to get to work, and every single one of them is excited to be back out on the dirt with their teammates after nearly 2 years, noting that we weren’t able to even get outside before last season was canceled. The softball talent in this community has increased like I’ve never seen before across-the-board, so based on that number of 65, we will have the largest softball program in the state of Wisconsin, and all four of our teams have very big goals”. 

Covid took over the season in 2020 and the girls did not have a chance to play the sport they love, they put in all the hard work during open gyms last season, but didn’t get the chance to show what they got on the field. With the season coming up this year the girls are ready for whatever precautions they would have to take just so they can play. Fall and Winter sports were very successful because they wore staying safe during their practices and the girls this season for softball will too. “This past summer, we were able to string together a few opportunities for the softball crew to gather, shortly after the return to sport happened at the high school. That was a really eye-opening experience to really not take anything for granted. Coming into this spring, After the high school had a VERY successful fall and winter sports season, Masks and distancing are really the norm at school when we’re inside already, so I don’t think it should be too much of a shock. With this, we are very excited to get outside into the fresh air of spring, and also are keeping our eye very closely on the declining Covid numbers and increasing vaccinations across the country, and how that will (positively) impact our upcoming season” Coach Czech said. 

Coach Czech has been Head Varsity Coach for three years but coached softball for 9 years through the Muskego program. He not only is a fun, energetic coach, but he does whatever he can to make the girls successful and make the season the best season it could be. He helps the girls get better, and will always find a way to help the girls, so they are prepared for the games Coach talks about how the girls can prepare for the season and to improve, “We were really excited to build on many of the foundations we put in place after my first successful varsity season in 2019. One big one that comes to mind is mental training, and the huge benefits that it brings our team for not only the pressure situations of the game, but also the oneness that it brings to our team bond. Overall, After not having a season in 2020, many things have changed and it allowed us time to reevaluate what really works well for us. We have implemented a few more strategies, hired some very knowledgeable new staff, and are excited to get going. It will be very interesting though having consecutive incoming rookie classes! We are excited for the challenge!” 

Not only do the girls have goals for the season, but the coaches do too. “My goal as a coach, and what I believe our collective goal is as a full coaching staff, is to really make this an amazing growth & life experience for everyone in our program. Winning softball games is just one of the many outcomes that is directly correlated to how we respond to every obstacle that is put in front of us. And if we can find the ‘response’ part, we can literally handle anything. Like baseball, softball is a game of consistent failure with a little success mixed in… even the best at our level don’t get a hit 6 out of 10 times at the plate! If you can’t get over those failures, you have a chance. That is our advantage”, says Czech. Muskego girls work hard to do the best they can in the field or at the plate, mistakes will be made, but the girls pick each other on and encourage one another to fix that mistake and do better next time. 

The coaches are very excited, especially Coach Czech. “Let’s gooo. I’m so excited to get back on the dirt, and I know already that our team is going to make some waves this season, deep into the playoffs. You Heard it here first”, says Coach. The girls will have a great season, and show the other schools what Muskego is made of!

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