This weekend 86 softball teams will make their way to Wausau for the 2019 Girls Class B State Tournament, but just because school’s out, doesn’t mean these young ladies are done learning.
So the summer programs are great for teaching,” said Mike Mathies, Head Coach of both the D.C. Everest varsity softball team and the Everest 18 and under squad. “You know the 10-U kids are here, 12-U kids, 14-U, all the way up to these older kids.”
The coaching the girls receive, along with the in-game experience helps these athletes find success later in their careers.
“I’ve been coaching at Everest here for 16 years,” said Mathies. “I think the female athleticism increased a lot and it’s because of tournaments like this.
“It’s huge for the experience,” agreed Marshfield’s 18-U Head Coach, Perry Oestreich. “(And) for the friendship building and the experience for when they play school ball.”
The lessons the athletes learn while playing are not exclusive to competition, but also hold value outside the diamond.
“They’re good athletes, they’re hard workers and it helps them in life, in everything they do,” said Oestreich.
Which is why it’s the memories that are made while the girls aren’t playing that seem to stick with them well after their careers are done.
“The kids don’t talk about the games they played,” said Mathies. “They always talk about like the summer tournaments or the bus trips, they don’t really remember scores, they remember those types of things.”