Softball Alumni Game

Addison Ditamore

Softball is more than a sport for these ladies. The Lee’s Summit High School Softball Program came together to help make new memories for past players. Softball Alumni players came back to play another game together one last time. 

“I feel like we showed the current players that there is more to softball than winning; it is about having fun and growing as a leader and friend.” Miranda Jarnevic, Class of 2011 graduate, said.

Every sport teaches different lessons for the game and for the future. Softball is not just about being the best it also teaches you how to get there successfully in anything you do.

“It has taught me to never give up and to never get beat down, no matter the situation in softball or in the real world, and to keep fighting and giving it your all.” Carli Dimarco, Class of 2009 graduate, said.

The lessons you learn from sports can only be taught if you accept the advice and feedback with an open mindset.

“One of my players was amazing because she allowed herself to be. She was willing to be coached and willing to make the changes, and was willing to work when I wasn’t around.” Lauri Buatte, LSHS Softball coach from 2000-2014, said.

Around 70% of teenage athletes tend to quit their sport because of fixed mindsets, and 44% of them have a difficult time finding a purpose and activity to do in replacement. 

“I feel like a lot of kids now have the mindset that if they aren’t going to make Varsity or A level then there is no point in trying out, but by just going for it you may find those grooves and skills you never knew you had which helps you grow as a person and player.” Alexis Reed, Class of 2016 graduate, said.

High School flies by especially when students are well-involved in multiple activities in and out of the school. However, being involved is an easy way that you can get your name out there to teachers and students.

“Just enjoy it. It is very hard but it comes with so many lessons and good memories.” Samantha Mozier-Kelley, Class of 2010 graduate, said.

However, most days for student-athletes are very busy. An average schedule for them is getting to school at 7 a.m. and they usually do not get home until 8 .p.m. About 31.9% of high-school student-athletes have some form of severe anxiety, depression, or severe stress.

“It is very hard on your school work because having a game or practice every day limits your time to study or do your homework, so finding that perfect mix of time management is overly important.” Mozier-Kelley said.

The obstacles that all sports come with also come with great opportunities. The Alumni Game brought these girls back together as a team to give them a chance to play one final time.

“Play every game like it is your last game because that day will come faster than you think and it is very, very hard.” Jarnevic said.

People take many things for granted in life subconsciously. It is easy to never realize how much impact something has made until it is gone.

 “Taking the field for the first time today was very emotional for me.” Dimarco said. “I felt like I was back at my true home.”

A lot of these former players have not seen each other in many years. Some have never met each other at all before, but they quickly connected.

“It was very heart-touching to see people older and younger than me come back together to play the game that they truly love.” Moizer-Kelley said.

A lot changes after high school; some people go on to go to college, some get married, some become parents, some have a successful career, or they might have even moved away. These girls now have an even bigger impact and role than being a high school students and softball players. Their lives have changed. 

“I am so proud seeing how the girls I have coached have become excellent leaders, moms, wives, and just people in our community.” Buatte said.

Growing up is not easy, but having someone to go side by side with in the beginning can make it easier. Buatte’s previous players have that source for life. 

“You never lose it, we are a family, they are our girls, and I will call them that until the day I die.” Buatte said.