“We almost didn’t have a softball team this year,” said Jewell senior Sara Olvera. “We are lucky to have one, because we only have nine girls playing.” With such a small team, the Blue Jays have to be extra careful, because if they miss one player they miss a game.

“It its really stressful because if a girl gets injured or sick then we will have to cancel and reschedule a game,” Olvera said.

The Blue Jay’s softball team doesn’t compete within a league, but rather plays the junior varsity squads of area high schools. Sporting a new field and lots of enthusiasm, the Jays are just in their second season of softball. Last year, despite no wins, the team grew together and learned what was for them a brand new sport.

“I can see from our practices we have improved a lot from last year and we’re having even more fun,” said Olvera. “We’re better at batting than we were last year and we are understanding the concepts of softball better.”

The Blue Jays pitcher is senior Thai Curtis, who admits that last year she was mostly learning to just get the ball across the plate.

“My pitching has improved a lot because I’m not as intimidated as I was last year. While I’m pitching I’m more relaxed. A lot of pitching is the mental aspect. Now that I’m more relaxed and have more confidence, it is easier for me to pitch,” Curtis said.

Coaching the Jays for the second year is Jewell grade school teacher Charnae Decker, with help from her husband Adam Decker and junior Dalton Blanchard.

“I hope that we can win some games,” said Curtis. “I hope that we can be competitive this year, where last year we were just trying to get through the season and make sure we knew what we were doing. This year I think that we can be more competitive and that’s what I hope to see.”