Left wondering

As many kids were getting prepared and excited for their spring activities to come along. Emma Barta, a Bismarck High School fastpitch player, was more than ready to take on her senior season. Only to be left wondering if it would even come.


Cameron Schmidt, Business Manager

Catching. Barta taking the field, yelling at her teammates for the next play. Barta likes being the leader of the field and telling the other players what to be ready for. ¨I play catcher¨ Barta said. ¨I always loved being loud and being in charge of the field.¨

When walking into your senior year, students look forward to your favorite activities that come along with it. You wake up thinking you have a chance to step on the field one last time. Emma Barta, who has been committed to softball since third grade, was so eager to show what she has one more time. 

  Barta was ready to have an even better outcome than last year. Her junior year was a success, after claiming her third straight WDA (Western Dakota Association) championship and taking second at state, against West Fargo. Barta was determined to do even better her senior year and make a legacy for herself and her team. 

¨Senior year was a chance to win WDA for the fourth time, win state, and play one last year with my best friends,¨ Barta said. 

Barta has an amazing attitude on and off the field. She is always willing to help people with things they need to work on. She always asks for help from coaches and teammates to get better. Instead of trying to be better than her teammates, she tries to be better than herself. 

¨Even being a starter since she was a freshman, her attitude has always been positive,¨ Assistant Coach Billy Schmidt said. ¨Everyday she tried to learn and get better on her skills. Always asking questions and wanting new ways and knowledge of the game.¨

Softball is not just about the game and the skills that are important. To Barta it is also about the relationships and connections you form with your coaches and teammates. In softball players have to all come together as one, in order to be successful in the end. 

¨I love the team and the chemistry we have, the coaches make a great impact too,¨ Barta said. ¨Despite our differences, we always will be there for eachother.¨

For Schmidt, it is heartbreaking to watch the season end before starting. Schmidt has been a coach for BHS fastpitch for four years, this year would have been his fifth. He watched Barta grow as a player since her eighth grade year. For Schmidt, it is sad to see one of the kids he taught the game to for so long, not be able to play her last season. 

¨I feel really bad, because she’s been playing varsity fastpitch since her freshman year of highschool.” Schmidt said. “She worked hard for her spot on the varsity team. Watching her get better and improving every year. The hard work and dedication she puts into the game is unreal. It’s just sad she didn’t get to show those skills and possibly win a state title her senior year.¨

Even for Coach Schmidt, softball is a big part of his life. Something he lives for everyday, and can not go without. It was not easy to take the news in, when they announced the softball season was over before it even began. Schmidt lives for the success and rewarding parts of coaching these girls. Watching the kids grow over time and become better players. 

¨The satisfaction of watching the girls grow and get better as the years go on,” Schmidt said. “Helping girls understand the game of fastpitch softball. Working at things in practice, and watching these things come out in a game setting. Seeing that what I taught them paid off in the end.¨

Softball will always be a part of Barta´s life. It will be something she cherished forever. She will be playing college softball next fall, but that does not make up the fact she is missing out on her senior season. Missing out on something you have been looking forward to is heartbreaking. Playing your favorite sport after highschool, is a dream almost every athlete has. Barta is making her dreams become a reality. 

¨Next year I’m playing at butler community college in el Dorado, Kansas,¨ Barta said. ¨I couldn’t imagine not playing after high school, I’ve known my whole life I wanted to play college softball.¨

Going to play college fastpitch is a great opportunity for Barta. Having a season off may seem like a bump in the road to most. In the end everyone is going through the same thing. They all are missing out on their last season or just a regular season in general. 

¨I couldn’t imagine not playing after high school,” Barta said. “I’ve known my whole life I wanted to play college softball. I don’t think missing senior year will effect playing in college because everyone is going through the same thing, it all depends on how much work people put in during the offseason¨

Working in the offseason will be an easy task since everyone has to stay at home. There is no better time to spend being at home than practicing skills that you might miss out on. Athletes should want to get better, when not having a season.

During this time I’ll make sure to keep working on softball everyday,” Barta said. “Whether it be hitting, catching drills, ground balls, or even doing yoga which works on the mental side of the game.¨

Not being able to play the last season, is a pain that a player should never have to feel. These athletes did not know they played their very last game their junior year. They left that field ready for the next season, for it only to be nonexistent. 

¨Missing senior season is heartbreaking because I didn’t realize last year would be my last high school season,¨ Barta says.