New talent takes the field for softball


The Jags practice all week to get ready for games against rival schools. The team beat Reagan and have upcoming games against McCallum. photo by Jorge Villa

Alex Watson, Staff Writer

The LBJ Lady Jaguars softball team welcomed 15 new players this year, and according to LASA sophomore and two-year team captain Alde Little, is more popular than ever in recent history. Last year, the Lady Jags were not able to have a junior varsity team, and this year they have two junior varsity teams. Little said the sudden increase in interest might be due to the team’s recent success.

“I think because we did really well last year, that spread around,” Little said. “How well we did last year, along with having a new coach, has just drawn more people.”

Little has been playing softball for nine years, and she joined the LBJ team when she was a freshman. She said the team appealed to her because she wanted to be able to represent her school in something she loved to do.

“Mainly, I’ve just been playing softball for so long, and I wanted to have something that I could be a part of for the school since everyone has something they do, like band or orchestra,” Little said. “I already do softball, so I wanted to join.”

In previous years, the turnout had not been nearly as good. Little said this year is a refreshing change, especially compared to last year.

“We always have an issue with having girls come out and want to play,” Little said. “So it’s fun when we actually get girls that are kind of decent.”

Olivia Gonzalez is a LASA sophomore who joined the team this year. She did not have any softball experience before that, and she said she joined because other students encouraged her.

“My brother started playing baseball last year, and I thought softball sounded really fun,” Gonzalez said. “I had a couple of friends who were already on the team and played last year, and so I decided to try out.”

LASA junior and captain Audrey Heffernan understands why it has such a positive reputation. She has enjoyed being on the team since joining her freshman year.

“Every year has been a lot of fun,” Heffernan said. “It’s a great group of really supportive and loving girls who love the game and can have fun together while still giving it their all.”

Although Gonzalez only joined the team this season, she has loved softball so far. According to her, one of the best parts was her teammates.

“I have had such a great time meeting new people,” Gonzalez said. “The girls are super nice, and it’s been so much fun. The bus rides are a blast, listening to a bunch of crazy music. I just went to two tournaments, and they were both super fun, and I think the people are absolutely the best.”

Heffernan was very happy so many new players joined the team this year. She said their arrival has really helped strengthen the team and improve their spirits.

“The new players have only affected the team in that now there’s an even larger community of people to love, work, and laugh with.” Heffernan said. “It’s great to have the opportunity to work with a variety of experience levels, as it not only allows you to review old skills but also helps people feel connected and welcome.”

Little was relieved to see so many new players, especially because the team was in need of some more good athletes. She said they have allowed the team to maintain its high skill level and even improve.

“We lost a lot of our really good seniors, so they’ve made up for the loss that occurred last year,” Little said. “That’s been really awesome… They already know the game, and it’s really helpful to have them fill a position they know how to do. We don’t have to take any setbacks, we can just keep going.”