Pictured last season at second base against Dedham, captain Julia Farrell was set to serve as one of three Medfield High School softball captains in 2020 before COVID-19 forced the season into cancellation. Photos by Mike Flanagan.
By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Coming off a banner year in which they won a share of the TVL title for the first time since 1986, Medfield High School varsity softball entered 2020 with high expectations. Unfortunately, COVID-19 had other ideas.
In early April, Medfield High softball players and coaches made a little video of themselves practicing from home while in quarantine.
About four weeks later, the season was cancelled. For senior captains Ari Tristani, Laura Clifford and Julia Farrell, this video will be the lone softball highlight of their senior season, barring some sort of summer festivities if permitted. Despite the heartbreaking conclusion to their softball careers, the three captains say they are thankful for all that Medfield High School softball has provided them.
“We, as captains, are devastated about our last season being canceled," said the three Medfield captains in a joint statement. "It has been a long road for the three of us, as we have been teammates since first grade. This final season together was definitely something that we have been looking forward to for a while, but we know we have a strong support system within the Medfield Softball community. We have made memories and relationships that will last a lifetime throughout the past three years on the high school team, and we are so grateful for that."
With every spring sport currently dealing with the unknowns of how to properly send off its senior class, head coach Travis Taliaferro says that he and his staff are hoping to plan something special for their three senior captains on social media soon. Taliaferro also went on to call this trio of Tristani, Clifford and Farrell one of the most hardworking and dedicated sets of captains he's ever coached.
"The shame of it is that this group put so much work into developing our team to have that family mentality, not only for this season, but ever since they put on that varsity uniform," said Taliferro. "On a lot of teams, you have to come in as a freshman, pay your dues and earn the respect from your teammates that way. Not with this group. They started dividing up whom is going to ride to practice with whom months ago. That's sort of one of the benefits of having a small program. We don't have a lot of kids in it, and we try to make every kid feel that they are an important part of it, socially. I can't tell you how exceptional of a job they've done embracing that aspect of our program. We plan to see all three of these seniors around a lot in the coming years, stopping in and helping us run practices and just being there to support the program they've helped build. They mean a lot to us and it's going to be really hard finding ways to replace the production they've supplied to our program both with the bat and out in the field."
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as game highlights, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.