The NHS Varsity Softball Team Prepares for the Upcoming 2019 Season
On January 7, the NHS varsity softball team began their winter workouts for the upcoming 2019 season. Workouts are held at John H. Walker Middle School in Nutley, New Jersey. Each session is held from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Every year, the team begins preparing for tryouts through these workouts by practicing both hitting and fielding. Through competitive games to catching up with one another, fun is also incorporated into each session. Workouts are held every Monday until the week of tryouts, which is undetermined at this point.
Every workout begins with setting up the gym with the equipment. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes, so players are asked to arrive 15 minutes early to help set up the gym with a batting cage with a hitting machine, hitting stations, and a spot to field. Once the gym is set up, team captains, NHS seniors, Melanie Conca and Courtney Wilde lead two lines and run about 10 laps as a warmup, along with a stretching circle right after. After every player is warmed up, the workout begins. The entire team is divided into two groups: infielders and outfielders. One group will hit while the other group fields. The divided groups will hit or field for about 45 minutes to an hour, and then switch stations for the same amount of time. Once both groups hit and field, they play a fun and competitive game to end the night.
Throughout these workouts, players are able to test their skill and show off what they can do for the varsity team. Whoever is running the practice can report feedback to the head coach, Ms. Luann Zullo, and help the players on whatever they struggle on. Workouts can help players receive a spot on the varsity team through their skill, sportsmanship, and leadership. Workouts also help the new players make friends with the returning players before the season starts so everyone is familiar with each other.
“Here we work on our hitting and fielding skills to prepare us for the upcoming season,” says Conca. “Everyone is pushing themselves and others, which is creating a great environment. The freshmen are fitting in well and are getting more comfortable as each week passes. As the season is quickly approaching, these will continue to be beneficial to all."
Last year, the varsity team went 11-12 overall and 5-7 for the league. The varsity team only lost two seniors, but there are about 10-15 new players trying out for the varsity team. Since there is no longer a freshmen team as of right now, tryouts for varsity will be harder for the new players.
“This year, we have a lot of potential, especially with a new group of freshmen coming in. We have a majority of our team returning from last year, so with that experience and the new players, I think we’ll have a successful season,” says Conca. “I feel like everyone has high expectations for our team this year and we all share one goal - to win. I’m excited for this year and what we are going to be able to accomplish both on and off the field.”
Once all of the winter sports are over, tryouts for the varsity team will be held sometime in early March. However, the dates are undetermined. All girls interested in playing spring sports are encouraged to come. Each practice, game, and team bonding activity gives girls an experience they will never forget.