Senior Softball Catcher Prepares for Graduation

By Lindsay Myrback
Media Relations Assistant

April 8, 2004

"I just got into grad school," senior softball catcher Rachel Sherman said with a smile on her face. Next fall, Sherman will head to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art School, one of the top art schools in California, to further her education in computer animation.

Currently, Sherman is a coach for the San Jose Sting, a 16 and under softball travel team. "I just get this total thrill out of teaching them all this stuff and then when you see them actually do it in a game, it is a whole different kind of energy or thrill that you get versus playing because you are the one that taught them how to do it," Sherman said.

The debate between attending grad school and going on to coach softball was a genuine struggle for Sherman.

"It was a hard decision," she explained. "I just love coaching so much. I wanted to go on to be a college coach."

Nevertheless, after consulting with her older brother Brian, whom she considers to be one of the most influential individuals in her life, Sherman decided on grad school. "After talking to a lot of people, I realized that coaching will always be there, but school is hard to go back to." After graduation from the Academy, Sherman hopes to work for Pixar or Disney and make movies. At the very least, she hopes to continue coaching travel ball while at school.

Sherman's passion for the game of softball runs deep. Having two older brothers enrolled in baseball, it seemed only natural for Sherman to pick up the game of softball. Starting as a pitcher at the age of nine, Sherman has been playing ever since.

Her catching career started as a joke when she was 11. "When I was younger I was actually a really small kid. One day a girl that played softball with me needed a catcher and they thought it would be funny to put the gear on me because of how small I was, and ever since then I have been catching.

"You have complete control of the game and you are pretty much the only one on the field that can see what is going on; you are in every play," Sherman said regarding her enjoyment at the new position.

In her sophomore year of high school, Sherman abandoned pitching to focus entirely on her true passion, catching.

After graduating from Wilcox High School, Sherman had a short stint at West Valley Junior College before joining the Broncos. "In the middle of my sophomore year, (head coach) Marcy (Crouch) started to recruit me and it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up for the education. When I came on my recruiting trip everyone really welcomed me and was really nice, so it wasn't like I was coming in as a complete outsider."

Being a vocal member of the team from behind the plate, Sherman was named captain this year. She expressed that, "even if I weren't named a captain I still feel I am a leader on the field.

"I just want to play my best and end my senior year on a high note. Before the season even started we decided that our main team goal was to win conference and then get to Regionals. It is also a personal goal for me," Sherman continued.

Softball has provided numerous memories for the student-athlete that is a 12-year veteran of the game, including a trip to Virginia to compete at Nationals during her last year playing travel ball.

"I was with the San Jose Lady Sharks and had an awesome experience. I hit my fifth homerun of the tournament and it happened to be a really close game. It was the most I had ever hit in one tournament."

To catch Sherman and the Broncos in action, visit their home field, Marsalli Park, on Tuesday, April 13 for a 3 p.m. single game against the fifth-ranked California Bears. Admission is free.