Bryan Keim will be taking the helm this season as the coach of Winfield’s varsity girls’ softball team.
Prior to this season, Keim coached Winfield’s middle school girls for three years.
“I’ve coached almost all of the girls in middle school that I will now be coaching at the high school level,” Keim said. “I have a pretty good idea of what to expect.”
One of those expectations involves the issue of rebuilding.
“We lost some very important seniors who played a lot of minutes and hit high in the line-up,” said Keim. “We have some big shoes to fill, and we expect a lot out of our younger athletes.”
Fortunately, those younger athletes are coming into the season with their sea legs already established.
“A few of our returning sophomores got some varsity experience as freshmen,” said Keim. “The same is true of our returning juniors. A lot of them played varsity minutes when they were sophomores.”
In addition, Keim said he and his assistant coach, Natalie Fleming, have high hopes for the incoming freshman class.
“We think we have some freshmen who might possibly contribute at the varsity level,” said Keim. “We’re going to have a strong junior varsity team as well.”
Keim said most of his athletes will be familiar with his culture of discipline and hard work, and that he has a pretty good idea who the team’s leaders will end up being.
That said, Keim added that nothing is set in stone.
“It doesn’t matter if they’re freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors,” said Keim. “Anyone who shows up and works hard, either vocally or just by their very presence, can be a leader on this team. Also, any role is open. Whoever wants it and takes the reins can have it.”
Keim said that, despite the loss of last season’s seniors, he feels very fortunate that his current team has depth and quality in nearly every facet of the game.
“That’s something we are very excited about,” said Keim.
Keim said he expects strong competition from the conference teams that Winfield will face this season, particularly St. Charles, Warrenton and Orchard Farm.
“They are all going to be returning some nice underclassmen,” said Keim.
Keim added that the team’s non-conference schedule will be no less challenging, including tournaments at Francis-Howell, Troy and Fort Zumwalt North.
“We won’t really ever get a day off,” said Keim. “Every day will be a challenge in and of itself.”