New coach hopes to rebuild Derry softball program
First-year head coach Tim Kozusko is aiming to make softball a positive experience again in the Derry program.
After missing the playoffs each of the last eight seasons, Kozusko intends to get the Trojans back to the postseason and encourage more students to become part of the program.
“My two goals when I got interviewed were two things: No. 1 to increase the amount of girls that are out for the sport … and No. 2 to make the Derry softball experience a positive experience,” Kozusko said.
“From the moment we start practice to the moment we end practice, from the moment we get on the bus to the moment we get off the bus, I want everything about our program to be positive in every aspect.”
While Kozusko is still trying to improve roster numbers going forward, he has a solid core of players that will carry the Trojans this season.
Seniors Shauna Wambold (shortstop) and Jill Catanzarite (center field) are joined by junior catcher Morgan Roble and sophomore third baseman Hanna Brasili as some of the players who will be relied upon for the Trojans this year.
Kozusko said he believes softball is a game played “above the shoulders” before you even step out onto the field and that it takes intelligent players to succeed, a trait shown by his players so far.
“Shauna does everything correctly. She's smart and she knows what to do with the ball. Hanna's also a smart player,” Kozusko said. “I'm going to stress, if we can be smart about this game, we might actually steal a game or two because we know what we're going to do even before it happens.”
On the mound, Derry's top two pitchers will be junior Mylee Moyher and freshman Morgan Keeno. While those are the clear top two pitchers, their order in the rotation has still not yet been determined.
“They're sort of vying for that position,” Kozusko said. “It's so hard at this point to decide who's ahead of who because we've only been (playing) in the gym.”
But whoever finds themselves in the starting lineup, the Trojans are confident they will be able to move past their 3-11 record (3-7 in Section 4-AAA) from last season and improve in Kozusko's first year.
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.