Plum grad Seneca tackles first season as assistant softball coach at La Salle | TribLIVE.com
Other Local

Plum grad Seneca tackles first season as assistant softball coach at La Salle

941784_web1_vnd-JSeneca2-040119
Gavin Baker | Sideline Photos/LaSalle Athletics
Jordan Seneca (right), a Plum graduate and assistant softball coach at LaSalle, discusses strategy with sophomore Deanna Pineiro (center).
941784_web1_vnd-JSeneca1-040119
Gavin Baker | Sideline Photos/LaSalle Athletics
Plum graduate Jordan Seneca is in her first season as an assistant coach for the LaSalle softball team.
941784_web1_VND-SenecaMug-040119
LaSalle Athletics
Plum grad Jordan Seneca is in her first season as an assistant coach for the LaSalle softball team.

Last spring, La Salle outfielder Emma Schweigert, then a junior, discovered a viral video of St. Francis (Pa.) shortstop Jordan Seneca clubbing a towering home run against LIU Brooklyn. Schweigert sent the video to a friend with a message that this is what she wanted to do in her senior year.

Little did she know she would be trying to create highlights while the star of that video watched from the dugout.

Seneca, a Plum grad and Red Flash record-setter, is in her first season of college coaching. She was hired as an assistant in September by second-year Explorers coach Brooke Darreff.

Seneca connected with La Salle through former SFU teammate Ketarah DeVries, who knew Explorers pitching coach Karlyn Buker through their work at softball clinics. When Darreff was looking for another assistant, DeVries told Buker of Seneca’s interest in coaching.

Darreff contacted Seneca, and their connection was instant.

“We just kind of hit it off,” said Seneca, who had been coaching a 14U travel team. “We finish each other’s sentences half the time now, and I feel like we were doing that on the phone (interview) as well.”

Darreff said their initial conversation focused on changing the culture at La Salle, which hasn’t had a winning season since 1997. She knew Seneca was a big part of turning St. Francis from an also-ran to a back-to-back Northeast Conference champion.

“Culture is a large piece of taking over a program,” Darreff said. “Adding Jordan to our staff has added to our focus of that winning culture. That was extremely important knowledge to bring to these girls.”

Seneca’s responsibilities include instructing the hitters — a duty she shares with Darreff — coaching first base and overseeing the outfielders. But it wasn’t easy to make a rapid shift from being a player to being an authority figure for players who are so close to her age.

In fact, she is only three days older than Schweigert.

“At first, I wanted to be really hard on them about making sure they know, ‘I’m not your friend. I am your coach, but I still want to relate to you,’ ” Seneca said. “It just comes down to building relationships and getting on the same page.”

Said Schweigert: “I don’t think it was hard to accept or weird. She brings a level of intensity that sets the tone, and she demands that respect and has that authority.

“But on a personal level, she’s easy to talk to. She knows what I am going through as a senior because she just went through it last year.”

The other area Seneca said she needed to work on was patience. She said she sometimes gets frustrated having to repeat instructions to players but is beginning to realize repetition is part of the teaching process.

She also must exercise patience with the program as a whole. The quick turnaround at St. Francis was, she said, “kind of a freak thing,” and transforming La Salle might take longer.

The Explorers have had their share of challenges this season, entering the week at 6-18 (1-5 Atlantic 10). Seneca, however, remains confident the program will grow and she along with it.

“I’m loving it, and every day is a new learning experience for me,” she said. “Sometimes, I have to find things out the hard way. I’m just trying to do a good job of learning and staying positive.”

Added Schweigert: “You can’t tell this is her first year coaching (in college). She fits right in and has a lot to say after games and a lot of good feedback.”

Chuck Curti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Other Local
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.