With snow falling and temps in the 20's, it certainly wasn't softball weather, but there were plenty of warm feelings, laughs and even a few tears, as the Alliance High School Girls softball team members, coaches and families closed out the 2020 season.
Senior players Payten Gibson, Shaylee Messersmith and Keeley Mazanec along with managers Olivia Knapp and Caisey Pfeiffer were the guests of honor. Coaches Carlos Palomo, Brian Johnston and Steve Gullion shared their thoughts and a few good stories about this years team.
Head Coach Carlos Palomo had some special words for this years seniors, as they were some of the first athletes he coached at Alliance Middle school when they were 7th graders. Palomo thanked the parents, volunteer coaches Alex and Bailey Clear and the Alliance administration for their support and was thankful the Bulldogs were able to play this year, dispite the Covid-19 situation. Alliance finished with a 5-25 record, but Palomo stated the team was playing their best ball of the season in the final 2-3 weeks and was pleased the team continued to work hard and always gave great effort. Palomo challenged the underclassmen to build team chemistry and commit themselves to working in the offseason and during the summer.
Assistant Coach Brian Johnston, who also manages the summer program, stressed the players need to make a commitment to off season work outs and summer ball and strive to keep improving.
Seniors Payten Gibson, Shaylee Messersmith, Keeley Mazanec, Olivia Knapp and Caisey Pfeiffer all spoke about their love of the game and how grateful they were to be able to play this season...and how much they enjoyed being part of the team.
Coaches Palomo and Johnston presented the following team awards;
Rookie of the Year: Ciara Hudson
Clutch Performer: Morgan Moomey
Blue Collar Award: Shaylee Messersmith, Emily Garza, Val Carrillo
Most Improved Award: Savana Hansen, Kimber Romick, Bri Huston, Keeley Mazanec
Defensive Player of the Year: Ciara Hudson
Offensive Player of the Year: Payten Gibson, Morgan Moomey
JV Most Valuable Player: MaKena Turman
Varsity Most Valuable Player: Payten Gibson, Ciara Hudson
Team Fun Award: Olivia Knapp