Softball: Alumni can’t let go of team

April 23, 2009 — by Pia Mishra and Ren Norris

There’s something about the softball team that makes it impossible to leave— just ask alumni Katie Reed and Adriana Pak. Both were players on the team while in high school and have returned to help coach the varsity and JV teams. Pak returned after graduating last year, and has helped with the JV team, and Reed, who graduated in 2006, has taken on assistant coaching for the varsity team.

Apart from coaching being a fun way to stay involved with softball, Reed and Pak feel like sharing their own experiences as former players helps the team grow.

“I feel like I’ve spent a lot of years learning softball and I want to share all of that with these players and help out,” said Reed, who is now attending San Jose State University.

As coaches, the alumni still feel connected to the team but realize that the responsibility of coaching sets them apart from the players.

“When I’m out with the varsity team, I don’t feel much different than a player, but when I’m with the JV team, I feel more like a coach and I’m able to boss them around a little more,” said Pak, who is now attending West Valley College.

Even though Pak played with a few of the returning girls last year, coaching the JV team allows her to work with players she did not know before.
“I played with a lot more people than [Reed] did, but being with the JV team is different because I didn’t know as many players coming in,” said Pak, “but they’re all really good girls, so I’m having fun with them.”

When Reed played here, the team won league and went to the CCS Championships in 2005.

“I want the girls to live up to that and also try to make it to CCS,” said Reed.

The alumni remember the team being the same as when they played, apart from the changes in coaching staff. Ray Sisco now heads the varsity team, and Tony Palma coaches the JV team.

“Nothing else has changed since when I played other than the new players and coaches,” said Pak. “The team dynamic is the same.”
Reed’s great memories from this year include playing an alumni game on March 28 as well as fun practices with the varsity team. One of these included “Fresh Friday” where all the players dressed up in crazy outfits for practice.

The players also enjoy having coaches that have experienced what they have and are more like friends than assistant coaches.

“It’s really fun because they know what they’re talking about but at the same time they can relate to us and make practice more interesting while we still learn,” said senior Kelly Darchuk. “Also, [Reed] and [Pak] are my best friends so of course I love having them as coaches.”

What makes this team so difficult to leave?

“It’s just fun,” said Pak as she broke into laughter at Reed nearly falling off the bleachers. “I come back for moments like this.”

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