By Stephen Tool, MCIN Staff
The Mineral County High softball team held its first official practice on the softball field last week, and the girls are excited.
This is Coach Courtney Quintero fifth year and she considers this a rebuilding season. She has a number of fresh, younger players, but she sees a lot of potential on her team. She has five returning players and the rest are freshmen.
Quintero says,“We usually start with 18 players or so, but by the end of the season, we’re usually down to about 11.
“I have a good returning group of girls who are really willing to work hard and they’re very good about helping less experienced players.”
“Pitcher is the most difficult position to fill. We don’t have a program to start them young. Right now I have two weeks to get someone ready for the upcoming Yerington tournament. I hope to get a program started to get these girls prepared younger,” Quintero says.
Quintero is working to start a softball league for girls and hopes to soon train younger players to play high school – level ball.
“I expect a little bit of a struggle this season,” says Quintero, “but I like having these freshmen so I can mold them into the players they’re capable of being. Sometimes I find the freshmen are easier to coach.
“I really am pretty excited, I get excited every year because of the new challenges we face. I love coming here and this is where I went school.” Quintero is not an instructor at the high school, she commutes each day from Schurz, a small town about 35 miles from Hawthorne.
Quintero also has a couple of assistant coaches: Joe Carlos and Corey Rivero. “I like to concentrate on pitching and catching. These guys are excellent, they help me tremendously,” says Quintero.
At the moment, Quintero is working with veteran player Natasha Dupree, training Dupree as a catcher.
“I lost a pitcher and catcher so she’s breaking in new. She’s working hard, that’s what counts.”
Quintero surveys her field of players, puts her hands on her hips and says,“It’s going to be a rocky first start, but I’m very confident that with practice we’ll be a team to contend with; we’re getting there.”