Harmony Stafford is on the field at shortstop during Navarre’s summer league softball game against Tate. She’s in the spot once held down by four-year starter Kallie Anderson, who graduated in May as one of the best in program history.
“It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s good. I’m having fun,” Stafford said.
Stafford is one of 17 freshmen working out with the Raiders during the summer season. The experience has been valuable.
“It’s good to be able to play games and practice with the high school girls, and it’s been good getting used to coach (Kelly Hayes) and the program.”
That transition from middle to high school is one of the most challenging in life. For athletes, it’s about proving themselves all over again. The mental side of softball can be the toughest part of that transition.
“The hardest part is getting them ready mentally,” Hayes said. “But I tell the girls that effort and attitude are two big things. If you hold those things high, the skillset will come with it.”
Jessica Oakley, poised to move up to varsity this year after playing JV ball the last two seasons, remembers her freshman season at Navarre.
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