Timberview and the Wolf Pack Join Forces to Pay It Forward
Photo by Charlton Gladden of Gladden99 Photography (Gladden99photos.com).
Gallery: Timberview & Wolf Pack 2015 [7 Images] Click any image to expand.
Timberview head coach Donya Mooney also started coaching the local 10U team in August for a different organization, creating the “Wolf Pack” in December to prepare for the spring and summer season.
"When it was time to order uniforms and declare a name for the team, it made the most sense to try couple the teams together," she said. "We actually considered other names and colors, but nothing else seemed right. The younger girls already knew some of my Timberview players and vice versa."
Several of the Timberview graduates from last year’s team helped with Wolf Pack practices over Christmas break, Mooney said.
"As we got closer to high school season, I felt like both teams could benefit, having extended support and authentic learning experiences. It's an opportunity for both groups of kids to 'pay it forward.' The younger girls look up to the older ones and have dreams of being like them. The older girls remember being that age and really enjoy having them come to their games and mentoring them!"
Both teams benefit greatly from the partnership. Timberview team members are afforded the opportunity to share the responsibility of being good role models. Mooney said several of the high school players aspire to be coaches, so the partnership also gives them an opportunity to help teach the game.
Timberview players have been to some of the Wolf Pack games, too. Mooney explained each team makes the other encouraging notes or posters and cheer for them at games.
"The Wolf Pack girls are at such an impressionable age," she said. "This is when they form lasting connections and develop the love for the game. The excitement of hearing their names called as batgirls, placing their hands over their hearts for the National Anthem while standing in the circle next to Timberview High School Players is something they will never forget. Win or lose, the Pack has our Back. This is our way to give back to the game that means so much to us."
This year marks the third straight playoff appearance for the Wolves. They finish just behind Ennis in the district.
"We lost a significant amount of offense from last year’s team, so our goal all year has to make the playoffs," Mooney said. "We believe that as long as we get in, we have a chance to make a deep run."
After a big win over Ennis, breaking their 54 district game wins streak in
March, the girls couldn't rebound in the rubber match in April.
"We feel that we are one of the top teams in the region with quality pitching being the main reason," Mooney said. "Mariah Denson has led the way in both pitching and hitting thus far this year.
"She is very talented and has a desire to win. She could pitch a great game and go 4-4 hitting and be devastated if we lose. It has never been about her individual stats. I think that’s one thing that makes her an amazing player. She is not afraid to fail."
She continued by explaining the three-year starter, to date, has 164 strike-outs in 99 innings pitched with a .778 ERA and is hitting .554.
Other key players include Mayriah Brown, who leads the team in
RBI; freshman Maddie Munoz, who is playing outstanding defense in the outfield and
leading off; Alex Taylor, who continues to wow the crowd with "ESPN-caliber" plays at shortstop; and Chelsea Luddeke, who leads the team in stolen bases and primarily
handles the catching duties.
These players and others on the team understand their roles and how much all stars like Denson needs them for the overall squad to be successful.
that the ability to lead is an intrinsic trait that, although can be fostered,
can’t be created or forced," Mooney said. "Genuine leadership is hard to come by, Mariah
exhibits it and we are fortunate to have her at Timberview."
Those same leadership qualities show in the coach, who has combined the forces of two teams to create something real to rally around. Mansfield Magazine wishes Timberview the best of luck in postseason action.