Photo courtesy of Sierra Eisemenn
Social studies teacher, Scott Kurtz recently took over the girls’ varsity softball team this past year and has not looked back, leading his squad to a 15-4 record and their first Bayside Championship title in 19 years. Coaching field hockey and basketball, Kurtz has brought a new outlook to the program and hopes to continue his coaching success later into the post season. Having a balanced team of underclassmen and upperclassmen who have played together in recent years through travel ball, the Decatur varsity softball team set their goals high and planned to dominate the Bayside Conference.
Senior pitcher Lexi Black is coming off a strong season on the mound, pitching in every game this season. Attending Salisbury University in the fall to continue her athletic and academic career, Black knew she had to do everything she could to make her last season on varsity a good one. “Bitter sweet” is how she described winning her first bayside title as a team. “…its huge. Nineteen years is a long time. We are all so talented and worked so hard this season.” When asked about Kurtz’s leadership she described him as, “…very positive and doesn’t dwell on the little stuff. He takes it game by game and I think that has helped us a lot this season.”
Junior left fielder Sierra Eisemenn has led her team in the outfield and is a huge contributor to the team, as she has been on varsity since her freshman year. As she plans to play in college, she is very confident in her team as they advance to playoffs as the second seed in their bracket. Eisemenn described Coach Kurtz as, “…very organized. He moved some of us to different positions and that was huge for our team’s success this season.” Eisemenn stated, “…we have trained in the off season and we have so much talent. Everyone just gets along better than recent years and I think that sets us apart from other teams we have played.”
Coach Kurtz grew up playing baseball and got his kids involved in the sport at a young age. Watching them grow up and love the sport, he decided to take the opportunity to help the Lady Seahawks as head coach. As a coach, he brings a “…calming presence. As a teacher I can see how kids this age function and what helps them succeed. I think there are better ways to deal with a situation rather than screaming and yelling.” Coming in as a new coach with a team who had a 9-10 record the previous season, he knew there would be challenges. “Team defense was something I knew we definitely had to work on coming in. You know softball is tricky, it’s not like other sports where the game is constantly going. You have to have nine girls all focused on one thing because the second you’re not, you could miss a ball which could cost you the game,” Kurtz stated. Also coaching two other sports at Decatur, he brought his well-organized preseason plan to the softball team. They conditioned during the off season, getting in shape and becoming stronger every day to ensure they were ready for that first game. Coach Kurtz spent hours stressing, making sure he had covered every little detail before the season started and it all paid off.
Kurtz and his squad will take on Northeast High School on May 14 in the first round of the 3A sectional finals, with plans of not stopping until the state championship. Kurtz plans to keep up his success and lead his team for not just this season, but more seasons to come.