Her father said that every year they make a trip to Primary Children’s Medical Center to see if they need to have surgery. And every year they tell her to come back in another year.
Yet, as she’s grown older, playing multiple sports has become too taxing.
“She’s been able to do everything all her life,” Jose Ventura said of his daughter who played soccer, basketball, softball and danced. “The doctors have always been impressed at how good, how tough she is.” But last year she made the decision to focus on just softball because it was becoming more difficult to maintain the energy she needed for school and sports.
“She’d play basketball and then come home and pass out,” he said. “I couldn’t wake her. It was scaring me.”
The biggest issue was dehydration.
When she doesn’t have enough electrolytes, just staying away can be challenging.
“It’s been frustrating because I felt like I was just full of excuses,” she said. “It was hard to keep pushing through during practice, and then I would just go home and sleep.” She said giving up everything except softball and dance (she teaches in her own studio) was difficult.
“I love being involved in school in a lot of ways,” she said. “But I had to give up the other sports.”
She is grateful that she still has the reprieve of softball.
“I don’t know what I would do without it,” she said.
The players and coaches are grateful that the community and school has embraced the program and supported the efforts to make it one of the state’s best.
“It’s just been amazing,” said Jose Ventura of the change in the program in just four years. “It’s like night and day. I tell the kids, hard work pays off.”
And the players have proven that to be true.
“We were just used to losing,” he said. “In my first year, sometimes we’d be up by seven and then end up losing by 10. That doesn’t happen anymore. It helps that we have a very good pitcher in Taylor, but we don’t make the errors we used to make. And then, when you need a strike out, you can get it.”
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