Young captains lead Academy of the Holy Family softball team to winning season

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Baltic - posted Mon., May. 13, 2013
AHF first baseman Genevieve Roy scoops up a ground ball for the Academy of the Holy Family softball squad. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
AHF first baseman Genevieve Roy scoops up a ground ball for the Academy of the Holy Family softball squad. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

The Academy of the Holy Family is wrapping up a winning regular season this week, with a record that stood at 10-5 at press time. The Constitution State Conference team is coasting toward post-season tournament play against the tech and magnet schools and smaller high schools that comprise its usual competition.

“We’ve hit a few bumps in the road, but it seems pretty smooth now,” said head coach Roxanne Maxwell Rehberg. “This is one of the best teams I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to coach.” She said that this year’s squad was anxious to shatter their previous reputation among CSC teams as an “ego boost” – an easy team to beat. “The girls were so tired of that,” said Rehberg. “They really worked hard to turn that around.”

The Eagles have one advantage over many of the softball teams from other schools: most of their athletes play on all three of the school’s sports teams (soccer, basketball and softball). Since Rehberg also coaches all three seasons, team-building takes place throughout the year. Coaching, she said, consists of “just harnessing those skills necessary for each sport.”

The Eagles’ standouts are on the youngish side this year. Short stop Mary Roberts, whom the coach calls “phenomenal,” is just a sophomore but she’s one of the team’s captains. “Her bat came back strong if not stronger this year,” she said. “She really knows and loves the game.” Roberts’ little sister, Amy, a freshman, plays third base for the Eagles. “When [Mary] and her sister are playing together, they’re unstoppable,” said the coach.

Pitcher Shelby Grauer, a junior, is also a captain. “She handles the pressure of pitching with tremendous speed and grace, and she’s also a great bat,” said Rehberg. Sophomore Sarah Majewski, the third captain, moved in from her position in outfield to play catcher this season. “She does a fantastic job behind the plate. She has a great arm.” Just two seniors will be leaving the team come June: second baseman Nikki Rogers, who was new this year, and manager Nicole Arias.

Wednesday’s home game against Norwich Tech, whom the Eagles defeated 20-5 in their last outing, was the last regular season game for the Academy. Rehberg, an AHF English teacher who coached all three of the school’s sports teams – soccer, basketball and softball – is resigning her post at the end of this season so she can focus on her growing family, including the baby she’s expecting in September.

“It’s nice to be able to go out with this team,” she said. “I consider them an extension of my family. I owe them so much. They make going to work every day, teaching and coaching them, great.”

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