MOMS Girls’ Softball Team Wins Title

MOMS Girls’ Softball Team Wins Title

By Cheryl Conway

Homeruns put them on the map, but it was their character that acted as their
compass.

In their first season since sports returned to the Mt. Olive Middle School
for the 2013-2014 school year, the girls’ softball team finished with a
Group IV Championship and a 12-2 record. The MOMS Girls Softball team
competed in the Greater Morris County Junior School Conference Athletics
from March through June 7.

Coaches credit the girls’ hard work, dedication and character for the team’s
success.

“The players started as 17 individuals and came together as one cohesive
unit,” says Karen Lavalley, softball and field hockey coach at MOMS who also
teaches health and physical education at the school. “Their practices
consisted of skill work, peer teaching and team bonding activities.   Their
climb to the top was well earned with their determination, dedication,
perseverance and hard work.  Effort equals outcome!

“These girls are athletes with great character,” continues Lavalley.  Their
coaches have stated how they are such a class act on and off the field.  At
times of adverse situations or conditions their character grew stronger; a
true testament that a person’s character does determine ones destiny.”

This year’s team consisted of six eighth graders; two seventh graders; and
nine sixth graders. Sheri Newton, a social studies teacher at MOMS served as
the assistant coach.

In the start of the tournament, the girls played Parsippany Central, and won
9-8.  Next they played Brooklawn, the undefeated team ranked number one.

“The first time they faced Brooklawn the game was cancelled due to inclimate
weather,” says Levalley.  In the second game, they defeated Brooklawn by the
score of 4-2.

“The girls played an amazing offensive and defensive game to stop Brooklawn
and advance to the finals,” says Levalley.  The final game they defeated
Long Valley to capture their group IV G.M.C.J.S.C.A. championship title, the
second time in MOMS school history, says Levalley, who has been coaching for
27 years.
In 2007, the MOMS Girls Softball team also won the title with Levalley as
the coach. According to Levalley, the girls’ softball team is the only team
at the MOMS to win the county title.

“They are great group of girls,” continues Levalley. They are coached very,
very well from early on.” With several moving up, Levalley says these
athletes will be fielding a very strong team at the high school next year.

“They’re going to change the high school program,” says Levalley. “They were
just an amazing group of girls. I couldn’t have asked for a better
experience.”

The MOMS had been without sports since 2007 as a result from budget cuts.
Levalley is pleased they have returned.

So many “life skills” can be taught with sports, says Levalley, like time
management, team building and bonding, communicating and working together,
setting goals, persistence and facing adversity.

Offering sports, or even clubs, also allows students to get involved and can
prevent them from feeling “isolated which can put them down a different
path.”

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