Zuri Berry: Bear River’s ‘other seniors’ are more than role players
Today, Bear River’s softball team will be in the throes of its legacy. The team faces off with some of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s best, but ultimately will be battling itself en route to greatness.
The Bruins have a lot to be proud of and they are represented by some model student-athletes who are making major moves in softball.
Pitcher Kelly Shepard will be playing for Sacramento State next year while catcher Jenna Wermes will be going to Chico State. The two have garnered much deserved attention because of the their success calling and throwing strikes. Not to mention that they bring heavy bats with them.
But today I want to take the time to recognize the team’s other seniors, who have proved that leadership on the team is invaluable and comes in many forms and from many people.
Tera Reason, Jasmine McGown and Brooke Mosman haven’t gotten the attention they’ve deserved this year, while helping the team to its 25-2 season record. But they have been pivotal from the start in every way that counts, Bear River coach Duane Zauner said.
“These players started with us as freshman,” Zauner said. “They’re legitimate and very high skilled varsity softball players.” And much more.
Zauner recalled a conversation he had with fellow coaching colleagues of the Pioneer Valley League during their end-of-season meeting. He said the consensus in the room was that the Bruins, a team which scored 197 runs in the season, is strong throughout the lineup – particularly because of Reason, McGown and Mosman who bat six, seven and nine in the lineup.
“They’ve done an outstanding job at the plate,” Zauner said.
Often times, we (sports writers and fans alike) equate success with some sort of numbers. These Bruins have that to bank on, if they choose to. Mosman has batted .351 on the year while Reason is batting .391. McGown has a .941 fielding percentage to go along with her .269 average.
“Brooke is a real technician in practice,” Zauner said. “She works hard and she does everything 110 percent.
“She didn’t want to play after last year,” he said. “She didn’t feel like she played an important part in the section championship last year but she did. She was batting .300 all year long and was at .400 for awhile.”
McGown has proved she can play on the next level and Reason deserves a lot of credit as a lockdown third baseman, Zauner added.
But if we are to truly understand the depths of their worth, for this team and season, we have to look no further than the team chemistry.
As seamless as it may seem Zauner runs the program, the individual girls play their part in creating a fun, vibrant environment to learn and develop as players. The seniors were instrumental in that regard, bringing their combined nine years experience into this season – a hopeful repeat in many regards.
“It also helps that you’re surrounded by good players,” Zauner said. “Most good players help you strive to be good. They’re trying to raise their level.
“These are three of our unsung heroes over the years,” he continued. “They haven’t gotten a lot of the publicity but they’ve been rock solid for us. They’re just good kids … They’re our model students.”
When these three graduate, they’ll be moving on to fine college institutions: Reason has opted to go to UC Santa Barbara, McGown is going to Chico State and Mosman will matriculate to Sonoma State. None of them plan on playing at the next level, although that’s not far from impossible either.
What we do know is that when this year is all said and done, they’ll have a season to look back in which they can admire the work they did, the fun they had and the time they spent playing some ball.
There shouldn’t be any regrets, and there should be plenty more publicity.
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With a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive effort, the Nevada Union football team went on the road Friday night and knocked off Napa, 33-14.