The Traditions Behind the Team: How Mitty Softball Stays at the Top of their Game

The vast changes from COVID have not limited the traditions of the Mitty softball team.


Riley McNair

Sixteen of Archbishop Mitty’s finest athletes step onto the softball field to face off against some of the best teams in California about three times a week. With their success and win percentage constantly increasing, fans are asking: what makes them so dang good?

The talent found in the softball team is incredible– it’s not everyday where you have three Division I commits on your team (with more commitments definitely on the way). Those three are juniors Taryn Kern committing to Indiana University, junior Elon Butler committing to UC Berkeley, and junior Kelly Zybura committing to the University of Pennsylvania. It is no surprise that the softball team has started off the season very strong, posting resounding victories over Valley Christian (13-2), Gilroy (12-4) and Presentation (10-1). They currently sit at 3rd in the WCAL rankings, as they vie for a WCAL championship.

Many of these girls have been playing softball their whole lives, and their dedication and love for the game is apparent in the way they play. As junior Taryn Kern states, “We play not only with each other but for each other.” The work ethic and passion that this team brings to the table is unmatched by any other team in their league. 

The sport itself has challenged these girls to their limit, both mentally and physically, but it has also helped them forge great relationships. Their team chemistry stems from a long history of team traditions and rituals, and a large focus on how their energy can bring everyone together. Some of these traditions had to be altered due to COVID, but the idea of bringing everyone together remains the same. The traditional sharing of a Monster Energy drink had to be modified so only one person can drink from the can. Additionally now, the girls have to apply their eyeblack themselves, but the traditions have been able to persist. 

The team also focuses on lifting each other up, and its positive energy and supportive nature has allowed each athlete to grow and reach their full potential. As senior Mia Yamagiwa states, the program “puts a huge emphasis on energy, which definitely fuels our performance, brings us together as a team, and makes the game incredibly fun.”

The Monarch softball team is something special. Their work rate, energy, talent, and sheer love for the sport allow them to be as successful as they are– and that’s pretty good.