In her first year as head coach for Dickinson softball, Amanda Mickey didn’t have a ton to work with.
“Our first year, we had zero returners and not one senior,” Mickey said.
And then-freshmen like Jordanne McNeilly didn’t know what to make of Mickey’s intense coaching style.
“Our first year, we were all super scared of her,” McNeilly joked.
But that young team would go on to take second in the state. Three years later, the players don’t fear their coach’s intensity; they welcome it.
“Her intensity is what gets us going most of the time,” McNeilly said. “She expects such high things from us, and I think that carries over to the team.”
And the results would say that Mickey’s approach is working. The Midgets have routinely finished near the top in the state, and the coaches’ poll has the team pegged to win the WDA this year.
“I’m super excited. I feel in my bones that we’re going to do really well,” Mickey said.
And part of what has Mickey so optimistic is her senior class, who all were freshman when Mickey took the job. Seniors like McNeilly and Amber Sickler both say their time with Mickey has helped shaped who they want to be.
“She’s just such a great coach and she would do anything for us,” McNeilly said.
And the one thing the seniors want to give Mickey before they say good-bye is that elusive state title.