San Juan softball coach Bowers reflects on the season
Rhett Sifford: Coach, I know the season didn’t end exactly how you wanted, but it was an excellent season nonetheless. Give me your thoughts now that it’s done.
Coach Bowers: I didn’t like the energy we finished with in our last game. I attribute that to mental fatigue from hyper focus during the Duchesne and Beaver games. Our girls performed outside their skillset and should be very proud of themselves. I know I am. San Juan softball has grown immensely in the last two seasons. They have bought into the program and work hard every practice to gain ground to improve themselves individually and as a team.
“Team” is the most important component in my mind. Players must surrender the “me” to the “we” – live for something bigger than themselves and trust one another, but more importantly trust themselves. We work hard to change their self-talk from the negative to positive all year long. My dream is to grow the athlete in softball and develop a love for the game.
Most importantly, we want to grow gritty, tough young ladies who will not be intimidated by life or its circumstances. These young ladies made gigantic strides in this realm and I am very proud of them. Not one time were they intimidated throughout the whole tournament.
Sifford: After the loss to Duchesne you were able to battle back to beat Beaver and move into the final four.
Bowers: The Beaver game was most impressive in my mind. We had just lost a mentally and physically tough game to the defending state champs. Our girls stayed disciplined at the plate and had a solid game. Before the game we discussed how important it is to continue to fight and win, especially after a loss. Once again the girls rose to the challenge.
Sifford: Tell me about the team effort at the state tournament.
Bowers: We had so many different players contribute and step up in key points of games. Some made defensive plays they hadn’t been able to make all year, we had a key game-winning home run, and two very hard-working pitchers.
Sifford: What were some of the goals you guys accomplished this year and things that really excited you to see from the team?
Bowers: Again, the thought of creating mentally-tough, no quit, team-minded individuals who refuse to be intimidated is the goal. I believe this was our high point as a team. I feel bad for the future boyfriends and husbands of these strong willed young ladies…
Sifford: Turnover is part of high school sports and you’re going to lose some pieces of this team to graduation. But I know there are girls who are ready to step up next season. Can you talk a little bit about the future of San Juan softball?
Bowers: San Juan softball has a bright future. We are no longer a “rebuilding” team. “Reload” will be the new norm. We have a very talented underclass bunch and more coming each year. Additionally, several parents have started travel ball teams. This is hugely important to the success of a team. San Juan High School athletes are always top notch. Usually the only thing lacking is game experience.
The people who deserve the most praise for the 2023 softball season: Ashley Cosby, Sasha Singer, Misty Perkins, Kellie Palmer-Mills, Gracee Bowers, and Charlie Taylor. Nothing would have been possible without these hugely-dedicated individuals.