Having a Ball!

As the frost slowly begins to melt and birds begin to sing again, a new sports season begins to bloom alongside the fresh spring flowers–that of baseball and softball. Beginning in late March, SHS softball and baseball teams have begun to practice and prepare tirelessly for upcoming games.
“It’s tough because we didn’t really have a proper spring season in 2020,” Jeremy Dunihoo, varsity baseball coach, says. “Even in 2021, though, fall sports were pushed back so far that spring sports were messed up a bit, as well. So in a way, this is our first semi-normal year.”
Baseball and softball seasons typically run from around mid-March to early May. However, this year will be the first to follow that schedule since the pandemic hit.
“We’re coming off of a couple of tough seasons, so there’s a bit of pressure surrounding the next few weeks,” Dunihoo says. “I’m confident that our boys will come through, though.”
Cassie Bonde, varsity softball coach, agrees with Dunihoo.
“We lost our entire 2020 season,” Bonde says. “[It was difficult because] that was my first year as head coach, so now we really have to kick into overdrive.”
The hard working teams have been doing just that.
“We practice two or three times a week, with games the other two to three times a week,” Dunihoo says. “It’s been a bit crazy lately, however, since games can be so weather dependent. We’ve been practicing a lot and, unfortunately, needing to reschedule actual events due to the weather.”
Along with all of the obstacles posed by things such as weather and disease, seemingly simpler things such as season length have been posing a challenge to the athletes.
“Softball [and baseball] season is incredibly short,” Bonde says. “It’s hard to do the amount of team bonding we all would like to before it ends. Varsity took an overnight trip to the Dells over Spring Break for a few games, [however], which was a lot of fun.”
Despite all of the setbacks being thrown their way, both teams have persevered through and continue to make Stoughton proud every day. With many upcoming games and tournaments, SHS students and sports fans are excited to see what the new season will hold for our athletes.
In addition, both coaches are filled with excitement for the upcoming spring season, and look forward to watching their teams blossom (pun intended!).
“Our players know that if they’re going to find success, we have to outwork other players, and we have to continue [to do so]. So far this season, they’ve been going above and beyond in that regard,” Dunihoo says. “I’m personally excited to watch them continue to grow as individuals and as a team. This season holds lots of opportunities for our players, and I’m so proud of everything they’re going to accomplish.”