By Jacob Thomas and Branden Birnstill
Not only was Blakeli Holdenried making moves on the field last year, but also off the field. The Junior from Seckman High School was a standout player on a Varsity Jaguars team that came up just short of the district championship last season. They didn’t just lose to anyone, they lost to long time rivals, the Northwest Lions, by a score of 9-1. Now with that season behind them, the now senior leader is looking to make her mark on Seckman.
Last year as a Junior she had a .431 BA .507 OBP .446 SLG, solidifying her role as the leadoff bat in the Jaguars potent lineup. Now a senior, she expects to bring much needed leadership to freshman on Varsity, Abby Harvell and Josephine Lindsey.
As for Blakeli she expects herself to play better than last year. She was working on improving her swing and her fielding all summer playing for the STL Prospects, and she believes she is ready for the high school season. On top of all the normal practices and games, Blakeli puts in numerous hours of work every week to improve her game, and the one thing she thinks she really needs to work on is the consistency of her swing.
Blakeli likes the group of seniors beside her on the field and connects with them very well. She believes that the team as a whole can go far into the playoffs this year with their talent on the field, especially if they connect and work together as a team.
While she is a machine on the softball field, her personality glows off the field. Despite spending a lot of time on the softball field, she dedicates just as much time working on her academics. Blakeli has a 3.8 GPA, and is currently enrolled in three AP courses.
As you would suspect with all of that on her plate it is hard to have a social life, but Blakeli makes the most out of what she can. Most of her friends are on the Jaguars softball team, which makes things easier to understand how difficult schedules are and how to work around them. Blakeli thinks that her group of friends are very supportive of each other; she says that you can often see some of her friends at each others sporting events cheering them on from the stands.
While her friends are big supporters of each other, her biggest supporters are her parents. Her parents try to make it to every game that she plays and are always the ones cheering the loudest.
In the summer, however her dad is not in the stands, but in the dugout coaching her softball team. She says “Having my dad as a coach has helped me become a better softball player, and has helped strengthen my relationship with my dad.” While her parents support her and her love for softball, they preach school always comes first.