New Softball Coach Hopes to Strike Back

“I knew we could’ve done better today, and I think you guys know that, too,” new varsity softball coach Mike Cobb aid after an unfortunate preseason loss to Sobrato on March 11. “But no matter how far we got behind, you guys never gave up, and that’s what I want to see. You just have to keep your drive.”

The softball team, composed of one senior, eight juniors, two sophomores and one freshman, does not feel that the 13-1 loss was representative of the team’s abilities.

“I don’t feel that our preseason really showed who we are or our potential,” senior Emily Galli said. “If we just step it up and play like we do at practice, we will do well in our division.

The new coach Mike Cobb, former mayor of Palo Alto, shares in the team’s enthusiasm and high spirits.

“We’re off to a good start,” Cobb said. “The varsity team is 2-2 and the JV team is 3-1. I don’t like to make predictions, but I am confident that we will have competitive teams that will represent LAHS very, very well.”

Part of Cobb’s dream is to rebuild the softball program at the school, which, in some of the girls’ eyes, is long overdue.

“Softball is just not a high priority at this school,” sophomore Jenny Bakos said. “It doesn’t get the hype like other girls’ sports, like soccer or swimming. It’s time for our sport to make a comeback.”

Cobb, a veteran to the game of softball, has coached the sport for over 30 years, resided as president over the Palo Alto Girls Softball League and plays softball on a men’s spring and summer league team. He hopes what with his experience, he will be able to improve the current softball situations at the school.

“I … know that the team’s recent history has been a bit difficult, but we are clearly on the move in 2008 and the prospects for the future of softball at LAHS are very, very good,” Cobb said. “We have a lot of enthusiasm on the field, and the teams are playing very well.”

The team, however, lost two of its players in the last few weeks. Both senior Jenny Silver and junior Veronica Milliken decided after trying out, that the team and the coach, were not what they were looking for.

“[Mike] was definitely a factor in my decision to quit the team,” junior Veronica Milliken said. “I’m sure he is a great guy, but he his older and not used to dealing with high school girls. I disliked his coaching methods and the way practices were run.”

Despite the loss of the two players, the team is looking forward to the season and are, in general, very positive of the new addition to the team.

“Mike is always very positive and really believes in us,” Jenny said. “I think he could be what the team needs to improve and become stronger.”

Kelsey Ayers, the only freshman on the team, supports Cobb despite their differences.

“I understand that some girls may not want to … play with someone that has a personality like his,” Kelsey said. “He’s an interesting coach, and he’s so different from my club coach, so I have a bit of a hard time adjusting. But he really does want the best for the team. He treats everyone … equally and gives a lot of positive comments to everyone.”