By: Austin Douangdara
Sara Wood is the person I’m doing a student profile on because she is a great coworker and friend. She’s important to the school and me because not only is she a hard worker but she’s also a hard playing athlete. Woods is a softball player at Cyprus High School and has shown outstanding achievement.
How did you get started with softball and why did you do it?
I really wanted to try a different sport that I had no experience in. I had many family members who were involved in baseball, and I thought it was worth a shot. I also knew many of the girls who had joined the team and figured it’d be a fun sport to take on. Softball seemed interesting to me and it wasn’t like the other sports at school. I joined the team to keep me going and move me forward. I like to feel the hustle and spirit!
Is it hard managing school, work, and softball? How do you do it?
Managing school, work, and softball is very difficult but I manage through limiting my classes as a senior, and working only on days that I don’t have school or practice. I work at Mobettahs where they are very helpful and want me to succeed in school and in life. They have helped me to have a flexible schedule since I joined the softball team. Having homework and then having to go to work and there’s no time for homework is hard, but you just have to make time and use your time wisely.
Do you plan on continuing softball after high school?
I don’t plan on playing softball after high school because it was just something fun for me to do and experience for my last year at Cyprus High School. However, I’m planning to help coach with my dad. My dad coaches softball and as I won’t be playing the sport, I hope to have enough experience and help guide those who play the sport.
What do you like about your softball team?
I like the energy and positivity from each of the girls and the confidence it brings me. Playing softball requires strength and as a team we all have that. It doesn’t matter if you just started playing or are super good at it everyone helps each other out. It’s uplifting and just honestly a great environment to be around.
What makes you proud of CHS and your softball team?
The motivation each girl has for the sport and the equal dedication to school. My team is super hardworking the way they juggle with school and softball is awesome. The energy and time it takes for us to practice and do homework and work shows how dedicated we are. Some of us have jobs where it does get hard but in the end it works out and we set a priority to each thing and that just amazes me how we can get through a season.
How has softball impacted you?
Softball has brought me confidence that I thought I would never have, and taught me dedication and time management. It really helped me to become more active and just a go getter in life. You just have to go for it and try new things, you never know if you’ll like that sport or not if you’ve never truly experienced it for what it is.
Who is someone in your softball team you look up to and why?
I look up to Shay McDaniel because she has a good heart but doesn’t let anything pull her down. I’ve seen her go through struggles and she is just a hard worker. She doesn’t stop for anything and she will go for it. Despite some ups and downs, she gets up ten times harder.
What motivates you to wake up for work and go to practice every day?
My motivation comes from me wanting to constantly improve myself. I like to get up and come to school and get my day started. If it’s not going to practice then it’s straight to work. Hustling and grinding is the only way to go for me. Once you have that mindset it really does help you to become a better person and just good for your overall health.
What would you say to the future softball players? Do you have any tips for going into this sport?
Don’t let other players or anyone drag you down, focus on improving you and others. Everything that is done is to improve you. If something doesn’t sit right with you, don’t be afraid to speak up and resolve any issues that itch the back of your mind. Softball is a little hard at first and drama can occur but don’t let that stop you from being your greatest self. Work as a team and talk things out with any players that you might not get along with.
What is your strength as both an athlete and a person?
I’m a strong team player and that helps me work with my team and improve my communication to others. Having a bond with your teammates and showing that you care as a person is the key to being the best version of yourself not only to you but others as well.