CoCo Harvell

Sheldon infielder CoCo Harvell is one of the leaders on this year's Sheldon softball team.

Sheldon’s softball team is the defending Division I champions in the Sac-Joaquin Section.

After graduating virtually all its players from that team, the Huskies this year has three returnees. All three players have already signed National Letters of Intent: Jaylee Ojo, Jaylee Marshall, and Sakora Harvell.

Ojo, a senior pitcher, had an unfortunate car accident five months ago and played her first game since then on March 23. For her, the experience of stepping on the field again was about believing in herself and her abilities.

“ I do a lot of breathing, I talk to myself saying I got this, I’m a dominant pitcher,” Ojo said when talking about her mentality as she gets on the mound,” I just know as long as I give my best stuff no matter how long it’s been, I can and will be better.”

Coach Mary Jo Truesdale believes Ojo needed her senior season on the mound for her softball career.

“Wins and losses aside, it’s all about her being able to have her final moments of her high school career in that circle,” Truesdale said. "It’s her home, ever since she was a freshman, she’s worked so hard to get to that point, she deserves to be able to finish her way and I’m so happy for her.”

Ojo struck out four Oakmont High School batters in her first game back and had eight K’s in three innings in Friday’s 8-0 win over West Park.

Team chemistry and leadership play a pivotal part in sports teams. The bond teammates create can be felt both on and off the field. Seniors are naturally sought for leadership, especially in dire times.

“We play very important positions and we are seniors,” Jaylee Marshall, a catcher, said.” We really have to carry the team when things aren’t going well, we have to be able to pick them back up.”

Marshall is ranked number one in the Delta League in fielding percentage and third in slugging percentage with 1.000 in 15 plate appearances thus far.

Being a student-athlete has challenges, but those challenges can be overcome.

Meet senior shortstop Sakora “CoCo” Harvell. Harvell currently has a letter of intent, signed to attend Loyola Marymount University.

She credits being a student-athlete for so long for why she and her teammates succeed.

“I think all of us are used to it at this point, we’ve been doing it so long, it’s all we’ve known having to balance both,” Harvell said. "It is difficult but, it is not that bad when you are dedicated.”

Harvell describes having already signed her letter of intent as a distraction she doesn’t have to deal with this season.

“It is a big weight lifted off our shoulders, but we also don’t get to relax because we still have to prepare for college now,” Harvell said.

Marshall is signed with Santa Clara University. She believes it takes the pressure off her to get accepted into a school, allowing her to focus on herself.

“Kids our age are really focused on getting admitted into a school,” Marshall said." For us, it is a lot easier to play our sport and focus on ourselves, our own education, because we don’t have that additional pressure on having to get accepted into a school. It also gives us something to look forward to and specific goals for us to reach at our specific schools.”

Marshall’s goal when she attends Santa Clara is to contribute to the program and make it better.

“My biggest goal is to keep myself healthy and build up the program because my school is smaller." Marshall said." Softball isn’t a huge thing so I want to really help contribute to building up the program to be better.”

Ojo has signed her letter of intent with University of Iowa in the Big Ten and wants to get to the College World Series and compete.

“My biggest goal is to get to the world series, compete and do well, possibly win it,” Ojo said.


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