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Player of the Month of March: JT Wozniak

JT Wozniak slides into home plate to score a run for her team.

Maitreyee Mittal

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JT Wozniak. Everyone has heard of her. She’s that loud ASB officer with blond hair, who you can always hear as you’re walking down the hallways. It’s hard to believe that this is JT’s only second year here, and only her first time playing softball for Pres. JT went to Fremont High for her first two years of high school. She transferred here her junior year, and has become well-known throughout the school for her school spirit and hard work. As softball season is kicking in, The Voice decided to ask JT about her love for the game.

The Voice: How long have you been playing softball?

JT: I started playing T-ball, which is baseball, when I was 6 until about 8. Then I played for Bobby Sox, which is a recreational softball league, until I was ten. I’ve been playing competitive travel ball since then.

The Voice: What position do you play?

JT: Catcher

The Voice: Is this your favorite position, or do you prefer another?

JT: Oh, this is my favorite position. There’s just so much action, it’s the best.

The Voice: What do you mean by so much action?

JT: Because you get the ball at every play. The pitcher’s got to pitch it to someone.

The Voice: Do you have any favorite players/teams?

JT: Team USA, obviously! Also, Kaitlyn Lowe and Lauren Lappin.

The Voice: Who are these people?

JT: They are on team USA; Kaitlyn is from University of Arizona, and then Lauren Lappin went to Stanford.

The Voice: Why do you like them?

JT: They have great speed. Great base running. They are excellent defensive players.

The Voice: How have they inspired you?

JT: They pretty much inspired me to work hard and to train to be the best I can be. So I can be fast and agile, and everything like them.

The Voice: Have you ever met them?

JT: I’ve actually met Lauren Lappin. I have her autograph. She’s awesome.

The Voice: What is your goal this season?

JT: My personal goal is to improve my game in any way I can. Our team goal is to win CCS!

The Voice: How can you improve your game?

JT: Well, the main part of my game that I need to work on is my offensive game, so my hitting. By doing that, I would put in more hours and take more swings each week. Like go to the batting cage more. Waste more time when I should be doing homework.

The Voice: Why do you want to improve your game?

JT: O my goodness, because as an athlete, you can never settle. You always want to be the best you can be and be better than your opponents.

The Voice: Have you played any other sports?

JT: Yes. At Fremont High I played varsity volleyball, basketball, and softball. At Pres, I have been on the varsity swim team, and now softball.

The Voice: Is softball your favorite sport?

JT: Yes, yes, absolutely.

The Voice: Why?

JT: Okay well, I think partially it’s because I’ve been playing it for the longest. And also, there’s just something, I can’t really explain it, about winning a game. It just has to be a softball game. Nothing else. Like running onto the field, it’s just awesome.

The Voice: Do you feel that there is a difference between Pres softball and Fremont softball?

JT: Well, I just started, but I love the team here. It is much more intense, and we work so much harder.

The Voice: How many times do you practice?

JT: During the summer, for the travel team, I practice three to four times a week. And during the fall, about two times a week. For school though, I practice every day.

The Voice: How does the team look this year?

JT: Really, really good. We have a good preseason schedule. Hopefully we’ll make it to CCS. I know we will!

The Voice: How have you guys done so far in your games?

JT: It’s been great! Today [Thursday, March 04, 2010] we played Castelleja, and a typical softball game is 7 innings. Throughout the time, they held us to no runs, and we held them to no runs. It was 0-0, no one was winning; we went into an International Tie-breaker. We played all the way up until the bottom of the 10th inning. We won 1-0. We were the home team, and we won! Boo-yah. We were screaming like chickens with our heads cut off! It was an insane moment.

The Voice: Who do you think will be the team’s toughest competitor this year?

JT: Mitty, of course!

The Voice: Why?

JT: There are two reasons. First, their team is filled with travel ball players, which means they have tons of more experience than the other teams we face. And they take the sport extremely seriously, they work really hard. They don’t have the losing mentality, they have the we’ll-win everytime-gonna-kick-your-butt mentality.

The Voice: And do you think we have that?

JT: We do, we do. But that’s why it’ll be the best match, because we’ll go head-to-head. Other teams don’t have that mentality. But we both have such a great desire to win, that when we go at it, it’ll be great.

The Voice: Have you thought about playing for college?

JT: Yes. I have been offered positions at various universities. But, I ultimately want to focus on school, and staying active. I am going to train for major triathlons. I want to become an anesthesiologist, but I also want to be a stay-at-home mom. So we’ll see wherever my path leads me.

The Voice: What colleges are you thinking about?

JT: I’m most likely going to go to college in the Mid-West; I really want to go to University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Voice: Why Nebraska?

JT: Because it’s awesome, dude. I’m going there. You just can’t understand my love for the Mid-West. It’s amazing.

The Voice: What is the best thing about playing softball?

JT: Team cohesiveness, just working together with a group of people. The best thing is winning a game and celebrating with your team.

The Voice: How do you celebrate with your team?

JT: The best thing to celebrate is the bus ride home. Blasting the music, dancing around. Just celebrating and enjoying the time, that’s really the best way.

The Voice: What do you guys do for team bonding?

JT: We haven’t really done anything yet. But we’re probably going to have Pie Night. The night before every game, we go to one girl’s house. Her parents cook us dinner, and people will bring pie. And we just eat. We devour that stuff.

The Voice: How has playing softball shaped who you are?

JT: It has made me a competitive person. Also, it has given me the skills to talk to other people, to compromise, and to learn how to work with a team. Ultimately, it has given me leadership skills.

The Voice: Speaking of leadership skills, how do you balance being an ASB officer and playing softball?

JT: Very carefully! I keep in solid communication with the coaches and Mrs. Hernandez. I try to keep on top of things, and don’t let things pile up on me.

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Player of the Month of March: JT Wozniak