Young Titans hope to ‘out- fun’ teams en route to state
Mar 27, 2017 12:17PM ● Published by Travis Barton
Sophomore Emma Marchant unleashes a pitch against Payson. Marchant also hit a two-run home run in the 6-5 victory. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
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Every team says it wants to have fun. The Olympus Titans softball team manifests that fun during every inning of every game.
Unleashing a steady stream of cheers and personal chants for teammates, there never appears to be a quiet moment from the dugout.
“They teach each other those (chants),” said head coach Madison White. “I don’t know where those come from.”
White said this minutes after the Titans’ walk-off victory against Payson in their home opener, during which you could see one coach touch his ear after one loud chant.
Right after the roster had been selected, the team sat down in the classroom to identify its goals for the year. At the top of the list is to “out-fun” the other team.
“Which kinda sounds cheesy, but we’ve been having a great time doing that,” White said.
Having a goal to enjoy themselves might be just what the young and inexperienced team needs to be successful on the field.
Sophomore pitcher Emma Marchant said no matter how they’re playing, the dugout’s cheers keep their spirits up.
“When we get down a little bit and we hear the dugout just going crazy — that’s when we start doing a lot better. That’s what makes it fun is just cheering each other on. Not focusing on your own errors, but focusing on your teammates,” Marchant said.
White said when the season starts, the onus is more on the coaching staff to create that energetic atmosphere, but “after a few games, they just kind of take over” and the coaches “sit back.”
If that excitement elevates its play, the Titans could very well achieve its other goal of reaching the state tournament. Olympus qualified as the fourth seed from Region 6 a year ago.
White — in her fourth year leading the program — said if the team reaches the playoffs, pitching and timely hitting will carry them.
Marchant will lead from the mound having been an integral part of the rotation as a freshman.
“She’s a beast,” White said of the star sophomore. “She’s one of the reasons we do so well is we’ve got a good pitcher on the mound.”
It’s her “perfect pitcher mentality” that separates her from the pack.
“She never gets too overly excited or if someone hits a home run off of her, she doesn’t get flustered. She’s always the same and it makes her such a good pitcher because no one can really read her,” White said.
Marchant, who started playing T-ball at 5 years old and hasn’t stopped playing since, said her demeanor can affect her team just as much as the opposing dugout.
“I just know that the batters on the other team notice when the pitcher gets rattled and I know that it’s my job as a pitcher to just stay calm and keep the team going,” she said.
Marchant can also lead from the plate — she stroked a two-run homer against Payson. But to drive in runs, the Titans need base runners and that’s what lead-off hitter Maddy Ellis provides.
“She gets on (base) almost every time and if you get runners on you score. She’s a great hitter, great asset to us for sure,” White said.
Ellis, a senior, said she looks for a pitch to hit with the team in mind.
“(It’s) just something that will benefit the team and a good way is getting on base so they can hit me in,” she said.
For White, a former Bountiful Brave and Salt Lake Community College player, getting into coaching has been one of the best decisions she’s made. Her dad has been a coach her whole life and she decided to test the waters.
“Did it one year and just fell in love with it, keeps me around the game. You get to teach the sport to a bunch of girls who have never played. I love this so much so now I’m going to teach you to love it,” she said.
Marchant and Ellis both said they love playing for her and the rest of the coaching staff.
“(Coach White) can see what we need to get better at and encourages us. She just really knows the game and gets us to our potential,” Marchant said.