With the completion of the recent softball season, the Beech Grove High School Athletic Department took time to interview lone softball senior Samantha Ausmus and first year Co-Head Coaches, Lois Roseberry and Kasey Kestner. They were asked to reflect on the season, as well as the unique bond they formed in being the only senior and first year coaches. The team finished 10-13 overall and 3-4 in ICC play. Ausmus will continue her softball Anderson University next year.
Q: Talk about being the only senior (and having only one senior) on the softball team…what’s it been like?
SA: I have really enjoyed being the only senior on the team this year. Though it does call for more responsibility and leader ship, I was not afraid to attack these obstacles.
Coach Roseberry and Kestner: Samantha being the only senior on the team has been a neat experience. We have a unique and much closer bond with Samantha. She keeps a positive attitude and that has rubbed off on the other girls. She helps keep the girls up, and is almost like another coach on the field. Samantha definitely leads by example on and off the field, not just because she is a senior, but because that is her personality.
Q: What has been your role with your team…on and off the field? What do the younger players expect/want/need from you?
SA: I feel as if my role on the team has been to be a leader both on and off the field. The younger players count on me to be a driving force and an uplifting and encouraging teammate. All of my teammates are aware that I have a deep love and understanding for the game and they never hesitate to ask for my advice or help.
Coach R and K: The younger players look to Samantha for help. They know they can ask her how to fix their problems, and she will give the best advice she can give. The players know that Samantha knows the game of softball and has lived and breathed softball since she could pick up a bat, so they value her advice. If we are busy working with another player, the girls will come to her for guidance.
Q: Talk about the relationships you have been able to build.
SA: Though most of my teammates would say that I am a hard nose player, I have built relationships I hope to last a lifetime. Twice this year I have had to miss due to illness or surgery and my team has never failed to let me down. Over the past few months, these girls have become more than teammates…they are like my sisters.
Coach R and K: Samantha has helped develop our team chemistry. Since the girls look up to her, the team has developed into something great. The beginning of the year was a little rough, but Samantha stayed positive and the girls noticed that. She has developed a relationship with each girl individually, which has also helped the team chemistry.
Q: When you look back on this softball season, what do you think you will remember the most?
SA: I will remember the friendships and bonds I have built with both my teammates and coaches. I will remember that no matter what my day brought me my team was always there to put a smile on my face.
Coach R and K: We will remember Samantha’s confidence at the plate and her drive to do better, no matter what. She goes up to the plate each at bat and tells herself she is going to hit the ball hard. We will also remember her communication on the field and in the dugout. Samantha always made sure to say out loud how many outs we have, where the play is, etc. She steps on the field to compete with ANY team; FC, Roncalli, whomever, she comes ready to play.
Q: What’s it been like playing for co-coaches in their first year? How has your relationship changed or grown with them.
SA: I honestly do not think I could have handpicked better coaches. Both of the coaches are positive and uplifting people. However, when we make a mistake they are not afraid to tell us but follow with instructing the proper way or better way of doing the task. They can always put a smile on our faces with fun and entertainment but once its game time it’s time to play.
Coach R and K on how their relationship has grown as first year coaches: Coach Roseberry has known and coached Samantha since she was in 5th grade. Both ourrelationships have grown with Samantha. The beginning of the year we were working on building higher expectations, and Samantha helped the girls realize that quickly.
Q: How do you think you both (you and your coaches) have grown into your roles or these unique positions?
SA: Over time, both coaches and I have learned how far we can push some and how much encouragement others may need. This has caused our team to come together and start to believe in one another. Without our supportive and encouraging coaching staff our season would have turned out completely different due to the lack of chemistry I believe our team would have.
Coach R and K: We coaches are still growing into our positions. We have done a good job, but we are growing as we learn. As first year co-head coaches there are a lot of responsibilities we had to learn to do (behind the scenes work), but we are on our way to building a successful program. We plan on sticking around for a while and that will build consistency within it, which will build a more successful program. Samantha has always been outspoken, but she knows her role know is to be a great leader, and to lead by example. She has done this from day one, but has gotten stronger at this as the season has progressed. Samantha has learned how to transfer her intensity to others and continue to improve the team chemistry.
One final question posed to Coach Roseberry and Kestner…
Q: What has been Sam’s greatest asset as a player this year? As a person?
Samantha’s overall knowledge of the game of softball has been a tremendous asset to our team. She understands that she is leaving her mark on Beech Grove softball, and wants to contribute to the needs of the program as much as possible before she graduates. The fact that Samantha knows the game and is a talented player has helped her become a collegiate athlete, where she will play at Anderson University. Anderson is gaining an overall package with Samantha Ausmus that contains a talented, smart, intense softball player that also is an amazing leader on and off the field.