Categorized | Technology

East Peoria softball makes lasting impact on Express travel team

EAST PEORIA — Life seemed to go full circle for East Peoria softball players Saturday when they looked into the stands at EastSide Centre and saw young East Peoria Express travel players looking on.

“It’s pretty unbelievable, honestly, because that was me,” senior catcher Remi Ferguson said. “I grew up on these fields and watched older people play in high school, so its really unreal and an honor.”

Express players of all ages looked on as the Raiders made history on Saturday. Kieler Till, 6, and Payton Swanson, 8, are members of the 8-under Express and have been to several games during the regular season and postseason run.

“We bring the girls to all the games and all watch,” Heather Till, Kieler’s mom, said. “This is what they’re working for, so we have to watch.”

The Tills have known EP sophomore Sam Despines for six years. Despines is like a big sister to Kieler.

“It just shows that we’re all one big family from the younger kids up to the seniors,” Despines said. “Having them look up to us really shows that we have a big influence on them and what we do influences how they’ll be when they come up.”

Swanson looks up to several different players for various reasons.

“I like number 10 (Despines) because that is my number,” said Swanson, 8. “I like Payton (Dearing) because that’s my name, and I like the pitcher (Alyssa Graves) because I play pitcher.”

Raiders shortstop Ashley Emert has given lessons to 10-under Express players Keearrah Brown and Olivia Avalos, so they have specific rooting interests in Emert.

“We work on batting and she mostly helps me be a good hitter like her,” Brown said.

“I like (watching her) because I see her hit home runs on TV a lot and having someone there to help me play like her some day is nice,” Avalos said.

The Raiders enjoy the support of the Express players and are equally excited in sharing in their success.

“It’s great to be able to work with those girls and to teach them what I know to make them better, and they’re great players,” Emert said. “East Peoria is going to be good forever. … I really hope in six years we’ll see them finish here, where I was as a senior.”

Aaron Ferguson can be reached at 686-3207 or aferguson@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @Sports_Aaron.

Article source: http://www.pjstar.com/sports/20170610/east-peoria-softball-makes-lasting-impact-on-express-travel-team

Comments are closed.

Call Now: 877-642-5321 ` ` . .