It’s too early to tell how most area softball teams will fare this spring. But North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie head coach Jody Norton believes that if the girls can improve after every practice, then everything else will fall into place accordingly.
“I would like to see our team improve continually throughout the season,” said Norton, now in his second year as the Hawks’ head coach.
“Each practice, we are very process- and task-driven and do our best to prepare the right way,” added Norton. “If we can maintain this approach, then winning will take care of itself.”
Like many teams this preseason, the Hawks were forced inside for much of the preseason by poor weather. Luckily for Norton, his team gets to split the Tech gymnasium with the baseball team, which allows for a solid hour-and-a-half practice each day.
The girls also have the opportunity to use nearby Extra Innings in Middleton — which is right around the corner from the high school — so it gives them a chance to have some sort of batting practice before they head over to the gym for their formal practice.
“It’s been very difficult, as I’m sure it has been for all spring sports teams,” Norton said. “We’ve been indoors the majority of the time; although, we did find some dry grass for an hour or two (last) week.”
The Hawks are poised for another postseason appearance, especially with the return of all-league pitcher Kaera Wyse and all-league infielder Krystal Dion. They played important roles in the team’s growth last season and are expected to do the same this time around with another year of experience under their belts.
North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie opens up the season with an extremely tough non-league contest against Division 3 powerhouse St. Mary’s. The Spartans are the defending Div. 3 North champions, so the Hawks will have their work cut out for themselves right off the bat.