After years of having meetings and searching for interest, St. Vincent will add softball this fall.
“Every year we have meetings to see if there was enough interest and we finally will be able to have enough to field a team,” St. Vincent Athletic Director Bruce Valleroy said. “We decided to give it a go and see how it all turns out.”
The Indians will field just a varsity squad this season and will have 12 regular season games to go with a St. Pius tournament in September.
“That’s really all that we have the players for right now,” Valleroy said. “We hear through the grapevine about the interest that girls in the grade schools have, playing with the Stars and we hope to add more players as the years go along.”
St. Vincent last had a softball program in 2013. The Indians, coached by Dustin Wengert, went 18-6 that season before falling to Kelly in the Class 2, District 1 championship game.
Fast forward six years and this year’s version will be coached by Nathan Unterreiner, who noted that the team will have just 9 or 10 girls on the roster, but because of the flooding that closed the Chester bridge they have yet to have a practice with the whole roster.
“We have one girl from Chester, who is transferring to St. Vincent and another set of twins, whose father was recently hired at TG,” Unterreiner said. “But the bridge was closed for all that time so it was really hard to get everybody together. We were supposed to have a practice last week that was rained out and then we will have a camp next week. The practices we have been able to get in we only had about five or six girls attend, so it’s been difficult.”
Unterreiner knows the most difficult part may be the small number of players that he might have one the roster for the first game. He knows that nine or 10 players is nowhere near the numbers that other schools will roll out on opening day, but will continue to push the popularity of the sport within the school.
“We are really on thin ice with our numbers,” Unterreiner said. “The girls have been talking with a lot of their friends about just coming out and playing just to get us going, in case we have injuries or someone gets sick. But we will go with however many players we have just roll with it.”
The first game for the Indians will be Sept. 3 at Cape Central, but Unterreiner is more concerned with improving, than with wins and losses.
“We just want to get the program started,” Unterreiner said. “For me, I just want to compete on a daily basis. Wins and losses really don’t matter to me at this point of the program.”
However, many wins or losses the Indians compile this season, Unterreiner is excited to see a softball program revived.
“I’m ready to get started and see what we can do,” Unterreiner said. “I’m just happy to see softball back at St. Vincent again..”