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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Westfield State Softball Team Hires New Coach


Skania Valencia was hired to be the new head coach for the Westfield State softball team starting in the Spring 2022 season.

The “season of the unknown” is now turning into the season of new possibilities for the team.

When the girls first got to campus, they learned that their old head coach has been released from the team.

In order to find a new coach, a search committee was created, consisting of Westfield State faculty, the assistant coach Caitlin Hughes, and an athlete representative, Louie Clark.

“The process was actually very difficult, and I did feel a lot of pressure because I wanted to make sure that I was a valuable asset to the committee while also being a good voice for my team,” Clark said.

Clark was not alone in this process. Hughes said that the process made her nervous as well but there was faith in the committee and team that everyone would be on board.

According to Athletic Director Richard Lenfest, the team needed someone who will be there full time, add structure, and be a mentor for the girls.

The whole team along with Hughes had a Zoom meeting with Valencia over the past week. Clark and Huges both brought up how it made them excited for the season.

They both also said that she is young and has previously played college softball, so she can relate to the girls more and be a mentor the college is looking for.

Valencia is originally from San Diego, California. She graduated from Mercy College with her bachelor’s degree in 2018 and again with her master’s in 2021. She also played Division II softball while she was at college.

Finding a new head coach was not the only obstacle the team faced this upcoming season. Another obstacle the team faced was COVID-19. The team lost the ability to play twelve games after their season was canceled while playing in Florida.

“The only thing that was consistent during that time period was inconsistency,” Lenfest said.

The team holds practices Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. Tryouts will be happening in the coming week.

Coaches and players are now eager to finally get back on the field with excitement and be ready to compete for Play Day this upcoming Sunday.

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