Student-athletes appreciate wearing ‘Seton’ on the uniform
Some of them played high school softball.
They just did not play for their high school.
Seton Catholic softball has arrived.
“I was really excited to start a legacy,” junior Kaitlyn Kutch said. “When I come back, I can say, ‘I was there when that started.’”
Kutch played for Skyview last year. Gianna Redman, a senior, played for Prairie, and Kailey Floyd, also a senior, played for Battle Ground.
Always classmates at Seton Catholic, now they are teammates at Seton Catholic.
“I wanted to be even more part of this school,” Floyd said. “I’m playing for Seton. It’s a different experience.”
“Being able to play for our own school and be part of the first team ever is a great experience,” Redman added.
This is the latest expansion for the small, private school’s athletic department. Phil Kent, the athletic director, said that there is a review process every year, to determine if there is an interest in adding sports.
“We had a bunch of girls here who were playing for their public school of record because we didn’t have a team here,” Kent said. “The girls rallied. They came to us. ‘We really, really want to play in a Seton uniform.’ They went for it.”
There was enough interest to give it a go.
“It’s been one of the best decisions we ever made,” Kent said. “The community rallied around it, the girls have been amazing.”
Seton Catholic hired Korey Kier, known more for his baseball knowledge, as the head coach. Kier insisted on having former college softball player Ku’ulei Siolo as his assistant, to ensure that he didn’t go overboard with the baseball-centric tasks. Kier said he has loved every minute learning softball-specific workouts while at the same time teaching the game.
“It’s been really fun. It’s different,” Kier said. “The girls make adjustments really fast. With the girls, you tell them once, they try to do it. You tell them twice, and then they do it. The learning curve is super fast.”
The first scheduled game of the season, the first game for the program, well, it was rained out. So the Cougars had to wait a few more days.
Then they hit the road to Goldendale.
“The anticipation of the game, the bus ride, we had a lot of time to hype it up and get excited to play,” Kutch said. “I was really excited to be part of it. I was happy to be on the field, wearing ‘Seton’ across my chest. I was excited to be able to play with girls who I go to school with, who I see in the halls every day.”
The Cougars won both games of the doubleheader that day, too.
“It went a lot better than what I expected it to be,” Redman said.
“It was a little nerve-racking,” Floyd added. “We didn’t know what to expect. We had practiced together, but in a game situation, it’s a little different. At the game, it blew me away how (we) were working together.”
Seton Catholic does have some experienced, varsity softball players on its new team. It also has athletes who have never played the game before or had been away from the sport for a number of years.
For the Seton seniors, this is it. They have a month or so left in their only season of Seton Catholic softball.
Shaelymae Kutch, Kaitlyn’s cousin, is playing high school softball for the first time. She used to play the game, but opted not to play for another high school during her first three years at Seton.
“I was totally down for it,” Shaely Mae said of playing for Seton. “I think it’s great to have as many sports at a high school as possible so everybody has the opportunity to play what they want. Having a softball team is a great opportunity. Everyone can play, whether they have played the sport before or not.”
The other seniors on the team are taking it all in, as well.
“I just want to be able to have fun with my friends on a new team, making history,” Floyd said.
“I plan on helping the girls as much as possible,” Redman added. “Help the girls be the best that they can be.”
Kaitlyn Kutch will be back next year, as well. She said she wants to win, but win the right way. So far, the Cougars are winning with a 4-2 record.
“I want to have a healthy mentality around the sport of softball,” Kaitlyn Kutch said. “So when we go into a game, as Coach says, ‘We’re playing against softball, not against our opponent.’ I want us to see that we can. We can think big, and we can achieve. I want to set that mentality.”