Freshmen hold five to one ratio over seniors

An intense game between Bonita Vista High (BVH) and Mission Hills high school (MHHS), senior and pitcher Giulianna Clavel begins her pitch. Clavel is the only senior on BVHs 2022 varsity softball team.

Madelyn Omelina

An intense game between Bonita Vista High (BVH) and Mission Hills high school (MHHS), senior and pitcher Giulianna Clavel begins her pitch. Clavel is the only senior on BVHs 2022 varsity softball team.

Isabella Garcia, Sports Copy Editor

At Bonita Vista High (BVH), there is a one to five ratio of seniors to freshmen on the varsity softball team. Since last season, some players have graduated, while others discontinued playing. Thus, leaving a “tough decision” up to the coaches when composing the novice, JV and varsity teams. 

“Half [of] my team are underclassmen [freshmen and sophomores]. It’s a fairly young team. If it was five freshmen, and I had a lot of seniors it wouldn’t be a big deal. But, the fact that I have such a young team, there are some concerns of lack of experience,” softball varsity Head Coach Alejandro Jordan said. 

Jordan takes into consideration the level of inexperience some players may have when selecting a large amount of underclassmen for varsity. He mentions how there was only one that “stood out” as a pitcher, while his other decisions for selecting players were “extremely tough”.

“There’s three players on JV that could have easily been on varsity. It was a matter of a need. Two players I put [on] JV were catchers, I have three catchers already on varsity,” Jordan said. “So [the two JV players] were just as good as [the three catchers], but these kids had already been [on varsity], so that’s the only difference.”

Although making decisions like these puts pressure on the coaches as they strive to make the right decisions for their season, Jordan mentions how he’s glad there are girls trying out. He believes the first few varsity softball games “weren’t as good as we were hoping for”. Although, he does have hope for the rest of the season as they improve. 

Hopefully we’re going to continue to get better as these young players gain more experience. We’re [a] young [team] and have played very competitively, and lost some tough games to some good teams,” Jordan said. “I think that when we get to the end of the season, we should be playing a bit better than we are now which would put us in [the] top eight in the county hopefully.”

All five freshmen have been in the line-up, and some have gotten on base. Jordan believes that if the freshmen and rest of the team is able to do a good job of defense and offense, then their games will be successful. 

“We have a few [freshmen] that come in on a regular basis, or that start. We [the team] are hoping when the [freshmen] come in, they can do their job,” Jordan said. “That’s all I ask them to do. Everybody’s got a job to do. You do your job, and we’ll be fine. [This] will help us towards our success.” 

Compared to previous softball seasons at BVH, there typically aren’t more freshmen than seniors. Pitcher and senior Giulianna Clavel mentions how it’s “different” with quite a few new players to varsity.

“[Having a small number of seniors] was expected, at least for this year. I’ve talked to a lot of people [who played last year] and they told me they weren’t going to play [this year], so I knew I was going to be the only senior,” Clavel said. “We also had a lot of girls leave [varsity softball] last year, so I knew a lot of new girls would be coming.”

Clavel also states how “it’s a little weird” being the only senior on the team since they don’t share any of the same classes. She doesn’t talk to them “on a daily basis”, but expresses that they  all have a good relationship with one another.

“We [the whole team] all get along pretty good, nobody has any drama or excludes each other. We’re a good group of girls,” Clavel said. 

Utility End Fielder–Second Basemen, Shortstop, Third Baseman–and freshmen, Enyssa Dominguez mentions how recognizing that there’s other younger and newer players on the varsity team is beneficial.

“I like knowing that there’s four other freshmen, because it’s not only me in the position. It’s other girls I get to experience [playing on varsity for the first time] with,” Dominguez said. “I think we are all very talented players. And I think we’re having fun with [Clavel] since it’s her last year.”

Dominguez says that having already practiced and played with her teammates brings a set of expectations from each other on the field. It also has helped bring better communication in games and practices.

“Three of [the freshmen on varsity], I played with at Bonita Vista Middle School, on the softball team. The other [freshmen], I’ve known since kindergarten,” Dominguez said. “I think that helped a lot because we already knew each other, and we already knew what we were expecting from each other. So we weren’t nervous about [trying out] but it was a nice experience.”

Similar to Dominguez, Catcher and freshmen Olympia Jara brings up how playing together with teammates on varsity in the past has helped. Most of the team is already familiar with each other and others are already friends prior to this season.

“I played with all of the sophomores and most of the freshmen in middle school,” Jara said. “[Not being the only freshman on varsity] is fun because they are all my friends, and I’ve played with them before. It’s actually easier that way, [because] we connect.” 

All the hard work these student-athletes do from freshman to seniors, inside and out of school contributes to their future career paths. Jordan believes his players can, and will be successful depending on the efforts they make. 

“There are some kids on my team aside from what we do here at highschool, [that] play year round, and they train throughout the week. I have a pretty large group of girls that do that,” Jordan said. “You can tell by their play on the field [that they play softball year round]. So these girls have to understand that softball is a year round sport, and what you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it.”