Coach: Garrett Miller (1st year)
2019 Record: 1-14
Total Players: 18
Wahkiakum had a stable full of brand new coaches this year and hopes were high around the bus barn that the Mules were about to find a few more diamonds in the rough this spring.
With 18 players making regular appearances until the season was halted, first year coach Garrett Miller had pieces to work with as he tried to find footing in the rough and tumble Central 2B League.
That encouraging turnout included three seniors for the Mules. Madeira Wynn would have put in work behind the plate on defense. Novella Hokkanen would have gloved it at first base and in the outfield, and Aubrie Montgomery would have worked from the slab in the pitchers circle.
That all would have happened, of course, except COVID-19 cares not for the plans of mice or Mules.
First-year assistant coach, Becky Dault, noted that the players had shown a resolve to hold each other accountable over the first, and only, weeks of the season.
“I saw a couple of juniors and of course the seniors really step up to the plate and really take over the lead themselves,” Dault said. “The girls had really stepped up in two weeks time. I’m not sure we were ready for our first game due to our inexperience, but they were committed to getting there.”
Wahkiakum also would have leaned heavily on returning players like Mary Jane Neves, Beka Neves, Jordyn Kiethy-Watson, and Breyonna Montgomery to find a higher spot in the pecking order this year. Unproven but promising players like Makayla Davis and Genevieve Fleming also figured to wind up in the new Mule barnyard alchemy.
“They were so accepting to the new girls who had never played, they were so willing to work with them and teach them,” Dault said. “They had camaraderie and made me really feel like they were a team.”
After many hours spent in the batting cage together Dault figured that the team would be able to lean on their bats to boost their odds of success this season. But for those three seniors, they’ll never really know. And everyone else will have to wait until next year.
“I’d seen so much improvement in those first two weeks,” Dault said. “To be honest, it was so disappointing that I started crying because we had just worked so hard.”
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