Dexter softball starts the 2018 season with only a varsity team, making the program’s future a bit murky
By Evelyn Maxey and Bailey Welshans
More than two months after tryouts and as the season is winding down, people are still talking about the controversy surrounding the softball team.
Based on a variety of factors, softball Head Coach Tim Kimball’s decision to eliminate the junior varsity team for the 2018 season created quite the storm.
Having one softball team was not on the initial agenda, but as tryouts played out, it seemed that would end up being the result. Despite Athletic Director Mike Bavineau and Kimball’s efforts to recruit new players — even going as far as to ask students that play other spring sports to fill in if there was a player shortage — they did not end up with the results they wished for.
“The overall goal was to have two teams, but the numbers just didn’t work,” Bavineau said.
The final team consists of 15 girls: seven freshmen, two sophomores, four juniors, and two seniors. Based on the number of girls that came out for tryouts (24), there seemed to be enough players to field two teams.
“Our job is to make the best varsity team we think we can make,” Kimball said.
After choosing girls that would comprise the best team, the coaches talked with many juniors about playing on JV this year. However, some juniors declined to play on JV, meaning there would not be enough players to field two teams. In the end, nine cuts were made, including many upperclassmen.
“It wasn’t really a decision [to have just one team],” Kimball said. “After tryouts, we evaluated it and met for hours. We made what we thought was the best varsity team.”
The cuts made hit hard as many underclassmen are thrilled to be on varsity but are heartbroken for their friends who were cut. The team is trying to make the best of a hard situation.
“It was hard at first because we lost a lot of good girls, but I think the season has a lot of potential,” senior captain Maddy Stroia said.
For this season, harnessing the team’s potential and getting to know one another has helped the girls work together.
“Our skills all combine with each other, and high school softball is supposed to be fun,” freshman Olivia Mellifont said.
For the future, Bavineau has high hopes that the JV team will make its way back as soon as next year, but it depends on if enough players tryout.
Through games played on May 16, the Dreads are 11-9 on the field. While much will continue to be said about the controversy, one thing is clear: the varsity softball team has had a great season.