Finding Ways To Honor Their Seniors

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  With four Seniors uncertain if they would play a single inning this Spring, North Salem Head Softball coach Jay Elders had an idea:

Find ways to honor them somehow.

Currently on their Facebook page, North Salem Vikings Varsity Softball, this week the Vikings squad will be spending a day honoring each of their four seniors properly in case they don’t take to the diamond this season.

“Well with no games on the horizon, I thought this was one way we as a village could honor our seniors. This group of young ladies has been with the program since we started,” said Elders.  They have been through all the ups and downs of building this program. They have had their Varsity field taken away from them, every game is an away game. They cannot call Wallace Marine their Home field! Construction is necessary for North to grow.

“They have been without home field advantage for two years and it could possibly be a third. We as a team have been preparing for last year and this year two very important years in the building of North’s program.  Ten wins last year and almost a playoff berth.”

Alexis Figueroa (13) will be one of the four seniors honored this week on the North Salem Vikings Varsity Softball page (Picture by Jeremy McDonald)

The Vikings went 10-14 last season and 6-10 in the Mid-Willamette Conference, a conference that saw three playoff teams reach the Quarterfinals including Dallas, who finished 5A State Runner-Up to Ridgeview in 2019.

Kelsey Ginther (Right Field), Bryana Hernandez (third base), Alexis Figueroa (Center Field) and Brianna Vasquez (Left Field) each will have a day to be recognized and honored by parents, coaches and teammates.

Elders admits that the parent group of his softball players have been tremendous in helping out, led by Alexis’ mom Vivian.

“This is her 4th year as team mom,” Elders said of Vivian.  “The parents and I thought a whole day on our Facebook page would give everyone the opportunity to celebrate them. One day is only a small part of what we will be doing. The parents keep coming up with great ideas.

“The parents start it off by making the first post, then followed by coaches and then teammates and anyone else who wants to make a comment or post a photo or video about them. Kelsey is just the first of four and she just joined the group this year. The other 3 have been on varsity since freshman year.”

With the season in the balance, team’s like North Salem are finding ways to stay positive through these tough times.

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