Led by a strong group of seniors, the Blue Springs softball team is off to a 11-5 start. According to Head Coach Jim Brandner, this group’s’ four years together have helped them form a camaraderie that extends on and off the field.
“If you are going to be a successful team, you have to be a family,” Brandner says of the senior girls’ relationship.
The group of seniors is made up of Reggie Kanagawa, Maddy Lavelle, Payton Minnis, Morgan Holland and Hallie Walls. They’ve all grown together over the years and evolved as players and teammates.
Brandner describes Maddy Lavelle as a player who has shown off this evolution the most. From a sophomore who fought to get on the field to her senior year as a starter and major contributor, Brandner praised Lavelle’s progress.
“She’s demonstrating that not only does she belong on a high school field but she can play in college,” Brandner said. Lavelle recently verbally committed to play softball and continue her education at Emporia State University.
All-State pitcher and BYU commit Reggie Kanagawa has one of the toughest workloads a player could have. Coming off of surgery, she’s pitching even though she is not at 100% physically.
Brandner noted that Kanagawa is “being put in situations that no other kid has had to deal with… She has to take a loss on a team that she would normally beat because her body hasn’t quite responded to the surgery, but she’s grown in a way that her play on the field is not going to define her.”
Brandner describes this senior group as one focused on their team more than themselves.
“They are linked together, they are committed to each other, they help each other,” Brandner said.
This hard work and focus on the team translates to more than just the seniors. Brandner lauded this group’s leadership role and noted its trickle down effect.
”They are great at making the freshmen and sophomores better. They are total leaders and make the team a family.”
The softball team is currently 11-5 and continues their season this Thursday when they visit Park Hill.