FHC Softball: Searching for new success


After a struggling season last spring, the varsity softball team plans for revenge. Although they did not perform as planned last year, the team is working towards stepping up their standards. As of this year, the team has combined with Forest Hills Northern adding three additional players.

Returning seniors and captains, Sydney Reynolds, Emily Wiltz and Maddie Noom will be pushing this team throughout the season towards success. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of this team, they will work individually with coach Kuiper to improve and conquer their goals. Sydney, who has played for eight years, adores the sport.

“Last season, we did mediocre,” she said. “We were just over .500; we had a new coach, so we had to adjust to a lot of new things. This year, as a senior, I am looking forward to leading the team to more victories.”

This team last year was young and had to learn how to play together. This season will be similar, with the addition of Aly and Beth Chick and Hannah Miller from FHN.

Another key player is Molly Donovan. She has been playing softball for twelve years. She joined the team as a freshman and is a sophomore now. Molly is a dominant second basemen, who is looking forward to her next two years on the team.

“I’m excited to be back with the team and getting out to play again,” she said. “We’re really close this year already, and we’re all pretty good friends. We’re gonna focus on playing more as a team and keeping our focus on the game rather than outside issues.”

Last year, this team graduated three seniors, but has now gained sophomores Alex VanElls and Val Nuffer along with the FHN girls. With a fairly new coach, Randy Kuiper, last season the girls had to alter they way they play to fit the new coaching style. Kuiper hopes to come out stronger this year and execute better than last year’s season.

“We were a very young team last year,” he said. “We only had three seniors but five freshman. That is the most freshman I have ever had at a time. They all played really well together, especially for the league we were in.”

Focusing on the main goals this season, Zoe Guikema, a sophomore, has a good outlook this year. Now that the new season has begun, she and her teammates strive for more wins than last season.

“I’m looking forward to bonding with the team since we did combine with northern,” she said. “We get to meet new people from that. Also, in between games with the team and actually playing with them because it’s awesome. This year Coach Kuiper is becoming more comfortable with us. Since last year was mostly getting the feel of a new coach, but now he knows how to coach us, and we know his coaching style. I would really like it if we worked really hard this year and became district champs.”

Setting the standards high, Kuiper and his team are all aiming to be District and Conference champions. Becoming familiar with Kuiper’s coaching style, they will all work hard together to make it as far as they possibly can.

“Our goals are to win Conference and Districts with our additional three from Northern,” Kuiper said. “We’re looking strong. We have some good pitching this year and all of our key positions are strong. With those goals, we should be very competitive. Our seniors are our strong key players, as they were last year. They stood out and helped us a lot.”