The Aledo softball program has been making waves this season as they've posted an 18-3 overall record (9-1 in district play) with an 86% win percentage. Leading the charge at the head of the team is fearless head coach Heather Myers. VYPE DFW caught up with Coach Myers to learn a little bit more about her and what makes her tick.
Who is Coach Myers?
Coach Myers is a Graham Lady Blue softball alumni who took her talents to the next level and played college softball. Her first year of coaching dates back to 2011 when she began coaching for Mansfield Summit High School. One piece of advice that has stuck with her and impacts her coaching is a phrase her father used to tell her: "It will feel better when it quits hurting." Coach Myers went on to explain that "with each new year, it rings true more and more for all situations. Get hurt, it will feel better when it quits hurting; lose a game, it will feel better when it quits hurting…"
This Softball Season:
With a shortened season in 2020 due to a global pandemic, one could say that Coach Myers' father's advice was something great to hang onto. "We do a lot of reflection on the importance of commitment, team, worth ethic, individual roles, etc.," said coach Myers. "My coaching staff and I feel once everyone buys into the "team", there's nothing we cannot accomplish. After losing last season, understanding the value of TEAM came to the forefront and we've really tried to stress the importance of having a positive team culture and know that every role is vital to success."
Coach Myers' goal for Aledo this season is simple, she says. "Take each game one pitch at a time, try to win every inning and never let any situation get too big."
Big Accomplishments and Team Success:
With great coaching combined with the team's focus, Coach Myers recently earned her 100th career win. Coach Myers acknowledged that everyone hard work went into the accomplishment. "It's always nice to be recognized for accomplishments, but it was not me alone who did it. It took a lot of long nights and sacrifices from both the families of coaches and players as well as the athletes themselves to get to that goal. I am truly humbled by the whole experience and very thankful to be a part of such an exceptional program."
According to Coach Myers, the secret to the team's success this season is team unity. "They have bought into each other and the success of this team and it shows," Myers told VYPE. Being able to trust her athletes has played a key role in her success as a coach. "Building trust and holding them to a high standard. We work very hard to push the girls out of their comfort zone so that no situation is too big or insurmountable. We have the mindset that we will work harder than everyone we face and if we don't then we're not doing our job."
"You get out what you put in," is Coach Myers' mantra with her team. "Sometimes when you have a good team, they forget they still have to work harder than everyone else to achieve their goals, so we often remind them that they will get out of practice exactly what they put in… so put in max effort."
Coaching is a Calling:
As much as she has taught the team, the team has- in turn- taught a lot to Coach Myers. "They are coachable, resilient, competitive, talented, knowledgeable, and Gritty with a capital G!"
It's no doubt that this season has been exciting for both the team and coaches. Because of that, the season is not taken for granted. "It means a whole lot," Myers said. "When something is ripped away with no warning, you tend to see its value in a different and renewed way than before. Coaching softball has never been just a job to me and after everything, I'm certain this is what I was called to do."
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Ranked first in their district, the Aledo Lady Bearcats are making quite the campaign this season as they push full steam ahead towards the playoffs. The Lady Bearcats have played excellently both defensively and from the dish all season to stay at the top of their game no matter who they are facing.
The Lady Bearcats have lost only three games this season. Two of those games were non-district matches against Lake Ridge (9-3) and Coronado (9-4) while the other came in a close 5-4 district matchup against Granbury. Aledo has since faced Granbury and came out victorious. Sophomore pitcher, Nathalie Touchet tossed 15 strikeouts in the 9-2 win over the Pirates last week. Earlier in the season, Touchet pitched a 10-strikeout, no-hitter game against Wichita Falls for a 14-0 shut-out win.
Ladycat a win over Wichita Falls 14-0!!! @natouchet18 throws a shut out no hitter with 10Ks pic.twitter.com/0m5t14KeSy
— Ladycat Softball (@LadycatSoftbal1) March 27, 2021
With Touchet's pitching combined with junior Kayleigh Smith's stellar pitching, the Lady Bearcats have been able to show defensive strength all season. Smith tossed a perfect game against Wichita Falls in March with six strikeouts in a 10-0 win. The offense has also been shining with bombs all season from Smith, Touchet, Marissa Powell, Allison Mallard, and more!
Bomb Squad tonight!!! 💥 💣 @natouchet18 @_kaykaylucas_ @marissakpowell @YourTCN @BearcatsofAledo @AledoAthletics @DFWfastpitch pic.twitter.com/zageXHpvMf
— Ladycat Softball (@LadycatSoftbal1) March 7, 2021
Currently on a five-game win-streak, Aledo has outscored their opponents by over 100 runs and the Lady Bearcats show no signs of slowing down as they inch closer and closer to the end of the season with only three games left until playoffs.
Catch Aledo's next game at home on Friday, April 9 against Azle. First pitch is set for 5:00 pm.