With this weekend’s impending snowstorm, most people are still thinking about winter sports, but Whittell softball coach Dave Galicia has spring on his mind.
The team’s first game of the season isn’t until March 14, but Galicia has been preparing since September. In the offseason, he attends coaching clinics and conventions to meet with other area and college coaches. Talking with higher-level coaches allows Galicia to learn what they’re teaching to prepare his team for the next level of playing, he said.
Practices start March 1 and NIAA rules allow for only 11 practices leading up to the first game of the season, which means Galicia carefully scripts each one as not to waste any time.
“I want to prepare my team for every game,” he said. “They need to be able to say ‘coach, I played better today than yesterday.’”
Last year, the team went 19-14 overall and 8-5 in the Mount Rose division III league earning them a spot in the zone tournament for the fourth-straight season. After routinely playing schools with bigger attendance, the team will be moving to division IV for this season.
With the new league, Galicia doesn’t know what to expect from the new competition, but thinks Smith Valley will be their biggest challenge.
“We don’t shy away from tough competition,” he said.
The team will be led by seniors Kendall Ferris, second base, and Gianna Miller, who Galicia calls a “good utility player.” Other returning seniors include Liz Anderson, Jasmine Munn and Maggie Dean.
He’s also expecting a lot of pressure on the returning players from a talented upcoming freshman class.
Games start with a tournament March 14-15 in Yerington, Nev.