Thursday, September 23, 2021

Red Raiders building a program

Harvey lost a large senior class and returns just two starters this spring, leaving head coach Tiger Alexander rebuilding for the future.

“We are continuing to build our softball program and our plan is to build something that is going to last,” Alexander said. “We are entering our third year with our middle school program and getting a lot of support and buy-in from our younger athletes. This year’s freshman class has benefited from the middle school experience and will play a vital role in the years to come.”

Behind its seniors, Harvey finished 11-11 last season but this year the Red Raiders will rely on younger players to step up and compete on a daily basis.

Alexander and his staff have worked hard to prepare the Red Raiders to do things the right way.

“Our No. 1 priority to our student-athletes will be that we must focus on the process and not the outcome,” he said. “We will teach our players not only the proper technique but why that technique is the appropriate way to play. A second key goal will be to go beyond just teaching kids how to play the game, but teaching them an appreciation for learning the game as well.”

Alexander will lean on freshman Keristen Cruz and senior Lindsay Ludwick to handle the pitching duties this spring.

Senior Carson Bolvin will catch and the infield could look different on any given day.

Junior Areli Martinez is projected to play first while freshmen Ashley Fornes, Cecila Cervantes, Jesenia Lopez-Rodriguez and Adrienna Diperio are competing at second base. Sophomore Maddie Karp and junior Samantha Tackett will split time at shortstop and seniors Diana Lopez-Rodriguez and Ricora Echols will be at third.

Juniors Jasmine Bucher and Alex Riddle and sophomore Cynthia Villa will play in the outfield.

“It’s a rebuilding season after graduating 12 key seniors,” Alexander said. “Despite our youth, I feel our work ethic shown by our players has been strong. We have a tremendous group of young ladies who give over 100-percent and have great attitudes. We will learn from our experiences and get better every time we go out on the field. We must believe in the following motto, ‘I can, I will and I must.’”

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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