NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — The Normal West softball team is taking things one day at a time.
It’s a slogan that has helped lead the Wildcats to 16 consecutive wins as one of the hottest teams in Illinois.
“I think the reason that we are seeing some success is because we’ve put in the time, this is what we expected, this is what we want” said head coach April Schermann. “They’re seeing some results but they’re also saying really calm and collected.”
Those lessons were learned in a difficult manner. The Wildcats have endured a great deal of adversity over the last three years with tragic deaths of softball player Livi Sonetz and super fan Charlie Crabtree in 2018.
The upperclassmen on this year’s team play in honor of their memories.
“With Livi passing away, that was another thing that we took for granted. And so our senior class, all five of us are really close because we went through that together,” said senior Kacie Quick. “There’s a lot of things that I could be sad about over these past four years, but we’ve learned a lot.”
They’ve learned to appreciate the moment.
“We talk a lot here about one pitch at a time, one breath at a time, one day at a time because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” said junior Haley Willan. “I really took for granted everything I had before.”
After having last season canceled due to COVID, the Wildcats were ready to battle more adversity. The players are happy to be competing and winning games on the diamond as good times return for the Normal West softball family.
“I think all of those events add up to who they are today,” said Schermann. “Not having a season last year really made them appreciate the little things even more. And we’re just happy to be here and be able to go out and compete this year. So I think whatever each day brings, we are super grateful for.”