By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
When voting on Greater Valley Conference Softball Player of the Year, McNary head softball coach Kevin Wise said he looks for “that kid that really stands out.”
This season one of those players was McNary junior Nadia Witt, who along with West Albany senior Kennedy Jantzi, were co-recipients of the award.
“It’s really cool to just think that the way I play and the way people see me as a high player,” said Witt, who was also voted a First Team outfielder.
“I go hard and I’m always talking. I just try to leave everything out on the field.”
Leading off for the Lady Celts, Witt hit .600 with four home runs, 14 doubles, 28 RBI and 38 runs.
Wise and assistant coach Brad Ulrey weren’t surprised to see Witt win the award. They talked about it at the beginning of the season.
“We’ve just watched her grow up,” Wise said. “We knew she had a lot of talent but she was just so quiet at first. Even though she’s really good, she’s still kind of shy. She’s not a cocky kid at all. Just to see her get to that level and her leadership and the way she carriers herself. If we need a hit, she just wills it to happen. You just can’t put into words what she means to us.”
Wise was voted GVC Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Celts to a 19-4 record during the regular season, a league championship and then a trip to the state quarterfinals.
Wise downplayed the honor, giving credit to the players.
“That stuff doesn’t happen unless… it’s these guys,” Wise said.
“That’s not the coach. It’s the girls. I just focus on them because it’s just a phenomenal group.”
Joining Witt on the GVC First Team was McNary junior Haley Ebner, who at first base hit .465, two home runs, 30 RBI and scored 33 runs.
McNary had four players on the Second Team, senior Hannah Carr as an infielder, sophomore pitcher Faith Danner and junior Emma Kinler and freshman Alexa Cepeda in the outfield.