Seniors at Pioneer Softball High School happy to be properly fired – Daily Democrat
Spring high school sports in the Woodland Joint Unified School District, such as softball, baseball and track and field, were the most affected by the weather, and games were lost on the field due to cancellations due to closures. COVID-19.
These sports were the only ones outside of the winter, fall and spring seasons to be canceled outright last year, and while everyone got to play a shortened season this year, it has now been almost two years since spring sports had a normal year.
This lack of consistency hasn’t stopped the Pioneer varsity softball team, led by head coach Linda Merrida, from getting a 13-4 overall record, good enough to finish second in the Golden Empire League. behind Dixon.
“I was happy that we had a season,” Merrida said. “I thought there was no way this could happen for us a second consecutive season. But, I knew that after a while we would be fine and have a few games. ”
While the team had to juggle other sports, regulations, screenings and everything associated with sport during the COVID era, Merrida was happy that the seniors could have a real goodbye, unlike last year.
“I think it was important for everyone who was there,” Merrida said. “They decided to go out. We did everything we could to make sure we didn’t have any interruptions in our season. It was really important to follow all the guidelines.
Hannah Reis spent two years in college after two years on the junior varsity team. She lined up in the outfield and was a designated hitter for the Patriots.
Reis also played for the Pioneer tennis team and had to juggle the two sports. But, according to Merrida, she went out of her way to participate in all the softball practices she could.
“She is one of those players who is very dedicated and loyal to her teammates,” said Merrida. “The shortened season did not allow Hannah to fully display her skills on the pitch, but she continued to make valuable contributions when called upon. I will miss Hannah as she is one of the players who came to practices and games with a smile and love for the game,
Merrida mentions that she was one of the hardest hitters to hit in her home plate appearances as she was determined to put the ball in play with every strike.
Reis heads to Butte College and plans to major in agricultural business.
As she lit up the GEL track and field championship meet in May, Hannah Media, senior, also racked up an impressive list of accomplishments as she simultaneously played softball for the Patriots. The three-year-old college star won GEL All-Academic honors and made the GEL Honorable Mention team.
“Hanna is a unique and talented athlete,” Merrida said. “She could excel at any sport she chose to participate in. I don’t know how Hanna kept the busy schedule she had this season! When you have an athlete like Hanna, you would love to share her with other coaches and help their program be successful.
According to Merrida, Medina’s speed was her most valuable asset as she made her way through base paths and defensively into the outfield as she was able to easily stalk soft balls hit in her direction.
“In her senior year she came out on top,” Merrida said. “Hanna showed power as the teams played at medium depth in the outfield, and she blew a lot of balls over their heads and took them out for extra bases. In a home game, she hit a home run inside the park. Hanna’s speed and leadership abilities will be missed as she always led the team to cheers.
Medina is expected to attend UC San Diego and will major in anthropology.
When you play four years at college level, you will have a long list of awards, accomplishments, and positions played by the time of your senior year, as is the case with Sessily Preciado.
Preciado, who has lined up everywhere except wide receiver and pitcher for the Patriots, has received both a GEL Honorable Mention and GEL All Softball Academic Team awards. Coach Merrida also awarded him the “Perfect Patriot” award.
“Sessily has been a very quiet leader off the pitch, but on the pitch her solid play at their base in every game has given the team a very solid player,” said Merrida. “You can always expect her to make every play on every ball that is hit in her direction. During practices she has been a very positive role model to the other players in her position. Sessily has been a pleasure to her. see him mature during his four years of varsity softball.
In the Patriots’ game against Davis this year, Preciado hit a huge home run towards where his parents were sitting. Merrida mentioned that Preciado was almost a guaranteed productive thresher when she stepped up to the plate this year.
Preciado will be attending Californian State San Marcos in the fall and specializing in communications.
“I will miss the leadership she provided with her teammate Lauren,” Merrida said. “She and Lauren, both team captains, provided communication with their teammates. As a coach, they took care of the little things for me.
Lauren Bryson also recorded an impressive list of awards in her fourth and final college season.
With both a GEL All-League and All-Academic selection, Bryson was also part of the Mex Preps Sac-Joaquin All-Section team, the Pioneer High School Athlete of the Year and the MVP of the Pioneer softball.
Outside of the diamond, she was the Salvatorian of Pioneer High School and the recipient of the A. Dale Lacky Athlete Fellowship.
“With a short season in 2019-2020, Lauren has continued to work diligently and dedicate her spring and summer season to improving her game and physical training,” Merrida said. “Lauren isn’t afraid to work harder to help her with her game.”
Bryson played for the Patriots first and second. As she lined up for second base this year, she will play first base at the University of Santa Clara.
“Laurena showed great leadership coaching our first year shortstop Briana Parker,” said Merrida. “A lot of times you can see Lauren working and talking with Briana on crucial games during our games. She was an additional coach on the pitch for us.
Bryson has been dynamic with the bat this year. Against Winters, she hit three home runs in her first three at-bat appearances. When she wasn’t hitting home runs, Bryson would terrorize opposing outfielders with hard balls, according to Merrida.
Bryson will attend Santa Clara University on a softball scholarship in the fall.
While it will be difficult to replace the seniors, the program seems well stocked for next year. Taylor Day, Briana Parker and Emma Brown have all been on the All-League squad and are expected to return to the Patriots next year as they hope to complete their first full season in two years.
“I’m excited right now,” Merrida said. “I’m working on the schedule and I already have 24 games. I get people who are energized like me and I keep them on schedule. All coaches have a positive attitude.