Villa Angela-St. Joseph softball coach Ron Fabo has a young team with a great work ethic and he hopes the youthful exuberance coupled with some key senior leadership will have the Vikings competitive this spring.
"This year we have a very young team," Fabo said. "Only four returning starters (three seniors and a junior), a returning junior and another junior who is in her first year playing. Seven incoming freshmen complete the 13-player roster."
Senior co-captains Shea Smith and Shelby Smith will lead the team. Shea Smith will be playing first base this season after playing third base last year and anchor the middle of the batting order. Shelby Smith has become the primary pitcher this season and the results after the first few games are very promising. Shelby's dedication and effort in the gym during preseason have really paid off.
"Shelby has turned a position of uncertainty into a position of strength," Fabo said.
Senior Toni Beuck and junior Aysia Kemp will share shortstop and centerfield duties. Three freshmen are being counted on to play key positions: Elizabeth Smith is the catcher, Rhianna Tadiello will play second base, and Alexis Whitsette will play third base.
"Every player on the team will be expected to make important contributions during the season," Fabo said. "The coaching staff is looking forward to continued improvement throughout the season as the team gains experience and confidence. The work ethic and attitude has been outstanding-the best that I have seen in my eight years with the program."
Three home games at Euclid and a doubleheader at Kirtland highlight the schedule for the week of April 13-April 18 for VASJ.