With spring in the air, baseball and softball teams are leaping into action.
At Culver City High School, the softball team has Mariko Rooks and on the baseball team, Max Sterner is at the top of the list.
Rooks, who also plays girls water polo, is like the Energizer Bunny. She just keeps going.
“You can’t ever put a price on how valuable Mariko is to this team,” said Raianna Dobbs, assistant softball coach, after the Centaurs beat Leuzinger.
“She is that team leader, the girl who is always communicating on and off the field with her teammates and coaches.” Coach Dobbs said that “she works the hardest, and the other girls follow her because she leads by example.”
Rooks thinks this is the best softball team she has played on during her four years at Culver City. “I am so excited,” said Rooks. “Hands down, this should be the best season for me.
“The chemistry is amazing. All of the girls work well together. Everyone has that desire and hunger to play well every single game.”
Rooks has overcome some of her insecurities.
Looking at her father standing nearby, Rooks said she has put in “a lot of time and effort, and my parents’ money into playing sports.
“That’s why I when I compete I give it my all every single time.”
Dobbs is excited to have players like Rooks and the other talented athletes on the softball team. “I like their raw potential,” said Dobbs. “These girls have so much athletic ability that they don’t even understand yet. So to have the opportunity to mold them into the best they can be is the best thing about coaching at Culver City. I love coaching at Culver City.”
The baseball team has its own Rooks, and his name is Max Sterner.
A rare four-year varsity starter, he plays three positions, first base, outfield and pitcher.
“Since Max has been here for four years, he knows what to expect,” said Coach Rick Prieto after their first win of the season against Los Angeles Dorsey.
Prieto is hoping his senior-laden team can carry the Centaurs to another Ocean League championship. “We have 12 seniors, but only a few have varsity experience,” said Prieto. “But they have potential. That is what we are banking on to be able to compete in the Ocean League.”
The 2-2-1 baseball team travels to Mira Costa on Tuesday for a 3:15 game. They play South Torrance at home on Saturday March 18 at 1.
The 3-0 softball team plays two games, Friday and Saturday in the St. Monica Tournament. Next week they are in the TNT Tournament.
Mr. Finley may be contacted at email@example.com