Courtesy photo

Haley Schmidt, front left, relaxes with Kaitlyn Knisely, Maddie Miller and Casi Shade.

Ali Wagner, Staff Writer

With the Bellwood-Antis softball team preparing for the upcoming season, they are welcoming freshman Haley Schmidt to the squad.

Haley moved to B-A from Crestwood Middle School in Florida.

Even though she is new to the district, Haley is not new to the sport; in fact, she has been playing softball since she was eight years old. Schmidt has even had coaches from colleges take interest in her playing.

For her efforts she has been selected as the BluePrint’s Athlete of the Week.

Haley got her start when she was very young, and was encouraged by her parents to try softball.

“My mom played when she was younger, which lead me to try it, and I fell in love with the game,” said Haley.

Haley’s parents have made a huge impression on her life and are what motivate her to move forward and work hard at what she loves.

“My parents inspire me,” she said. “They make me want to be the best player I can be.”

My parents inspire me. They make me want to be the best player I can be.”

Haley has been a good addition to the softball team, where she is a pitcher, a position of need for B-A after the graduation of Taylor Shildt and a season-ending injury for Maddie Miller. She likes playing for Bellwood-Antis and is ready to start off the season.

“The coaches teach me a lot and the girls are hardworking and dedicated,” she said.

Coach Jim Payne thinks very highly of the new addition to the team.

“Haley has been a great addition to our team, willing to learn the Bellwood system and do whatever it takes to make the team successful. She is very coach-able and a very good ball player. We’re happy to have her!” said Coach Payne.

To  continue to grow as a player, Schmidt makes sure she’s working as hard as she can.

“I make sure I work hard every practice and continue to work outside of practice,” she said. “I better myself by staying focused and paying attention during practices.”

It’s very clear that Haley is a hard worker. Her goal for herself this season is to better her playing skills. As for the team, Haley would like for the Blue Devils, a District 6 power that is rebuilding after losing a strong group of seniors a year ago, to make it to playoffs.