Heading into her first season at OFAs Girls Varsity Softball Coach, Meg Bartell is delighted to take a natural progression to the next level.
A progression which extends to her earliest memories.
You can say that coaching is definitely in my blood. I remember being in a carriage in the gym while my father conducted preseason practices at South Korwright Central, says Bartell who moved from the JV level to the varsity when Storm Cilley completed a 31-year tenure last Spring with in a 13-5 season which included a 7-1 NAC Central Division title and a Section 10 Class B Championship.
Coach Bartell is looking forward to her first varsity season with a lifelong enthusiasm. After a standout high school career at Stanford Central, in the Binghampton area, she moved upstate to become a standout at firstbase at SUNY Potsdam.
I am really excited to start the season. We have six players back from last years Class B Championship team who really know the game. This is just a fantastic group of girls and I know them well from coaching them at the lower levels, said Coach Bartell who will lead the Lady Devils into their season opener at home against Gouverneur on Wednesday.
They are excellent players and great students.
The NAC Central Division has been restructured for the second time in two years. The new look shows longtime Class B power Canton (decided to move up from Class C) returning to its historic place and another extremely successful Class B program in Salmon River moving into the division.
Coach Bartells first order of business was replacing pitcher MaKenzi Stevenson, last years NAC Central MVP who set school records for wins in a season at 13 and career wins at 40, and a first team all-star and .385 hitter in Mackenzie Cole.
Brittany Barr is slated tomove from centerfield to start the season as the number one hurler backed her sister Felicia who was a fixture behind the plate last spring. Brittany (.311) and Felicia Barr (.333) earned second team all-star honors along with fellow senior Stacy Barr (.333) at firstbase after outstanding seasons at the plate and in the field.
Brittany has excellent movement on the ball and having a returning catcher as good as Felicia is just a great plus, said Coach Bartell who also plans to use both sisters at shortstop during the season.
Andy Stacy Barr is just an outstanding offensive and defensive player.
Also returning from last years championship club are seniors: Shannon Tooley (3b), Jocelyn Fifield (Middle IF, OF), Maddie Ward (OF) and sophomore MaKenzee Holland (OF).
Moving up from the JV level with excellent credentials are: Riley Luckie (So CF, 2b), Molee Ahrens (So C), Maddie Bresett (Fr OFA, IF), Adrianna Compeau (Jr OF) and Cheyene Tyo (Jr OF).
First year junior Paige Perry rounds out the squad.
Jade Vernsey will coach the OFA JVs and Alyssa Farrell will guide the modified team.