“Falling in love with softball was easy,” said New Canaan Country School ninth grader and New Canaan resident Katherine Scarborough during remarks she made at the end-of-term Upper School sports assembly, held on campus May 31. “It has a competitive nature deep to its roots, with crazy chants designed just to distract the other team, or to hype up your own. You become a family with your team. It’s bound to happen when you throw eleven girls together, regardless of friend groups, grades, or style.”
Katherine, who served as a tri-captain of Country School’s girls’ varsity team, was one of two student-athletes selected to offer reflections. She readily admits that while taking to the sport was easy, she first had to overcome feelings of trepidation and self-doubt. “Prior to softball, I had never felt athletically inclined. As a fifth grader, I was tall and lanky and felt awkward.”
An early attempt and quick abandonment of cross country running in Middle School did little to dissuade her of this. She took to the softball field at first nervous and hopeful, then surprised and ultimately delighted.
“After I claimed softball as my sport, I required a different level of commitment from myself. I went from just hoping I’d be able to make a throw, to actually practicing and perfecting my speed, accuracy and strength.”
Reflecting upon the 2018 season, she says that mentoring her youngest teammates, many of whom were newcomers to the sport, was a personal achievement. “It was definitely a re-building year, or as we called it, a season of improvement.”
“I really had to practice patience. I wanted the seventh graders to stop wasting time and to take it as seriously as I was taking it. Then I started to notice that they began to listen and then they began to improve. By the end of the season, we had all pulled it together.”
“Another proud moment was when I jumped up to catch a high, line-drive to first base and because of my height, was able to just barely grab it out of the air, performing a crazy twirl on the way back to the ground. It was an improbable catch and in the aftermath, I realized that I was still tall and lanky, but no longer awkward. I had turned a perceived weakness into a strength. I really and truly felt like an athlete.”
Katherine, who will attend Phillips Academy at Andover following her Country School graduation, is already looking forward to trying out for the school’s crew and softball teams. She has also taken up running and continues to work on her endurance. “I didn’t want to leave that particular bit of business unfinished,” she said. “It was definitely on my list of things I wanted to go back and conquer, and I am really glad I did.”
New Canaan Country School is a co-ed, independent day school for students in Pre-K (ages 3 & 4) through Grade 9. Located in New Canaan, the school provides transportation to families living throughout Westchester and Fairfield counties. For more information about the school, please visit: www.countryschool.net, for further information about the school’s athletic program, please visit www.countryschool.net/athletics.