By Jordan Walsh
Throwing, running, and sliding are all things that Sophomore Sydney Brooks does in a single game, playing for the Viera varsity softball team. Sydney Brooks is a fantastic player and person; her awesome personality, on and off the field, creates a lovable persona that brightens your day. Brooks always makes my day, personally, by bringing a smile to my face. I used this as an opportunity to get to know her better.
Brooks lives among her fourteen year old sister, as well as her father John Brooks, who is a chemical engineer, and her mother Erin Brooks, who recently and thankfully just overcame breast cancer. She also has two huskies named Kody and Layla. “Outside of school I like to hang out with my family and friends. I also like going to the beach and eating,” Brooks explained humorously.
What drew Brooks towards the sport of softball? “I started playing softball when I was four years old. I started playing travel ball when I turned eight, so about eight years I have been playing,” she replied. Brooks had so much fun at her first little league practice that she just kept playing, and it shows in the way she plays. “When Sydney Brooks stepped on the field we didn’t know her name. By the end of practice her skill level was so superior we would never forget her,” stated her coach Ken Kretchman.
Being fit is a huge part of her sport, so Brooks sticks to a specific training schedule. “When I train, I usually run long distances, go to the gym, hit and throw with my dad, run bases, suicides and lots of ladders,” the athlete stated. With such a difficult training routine it could be hard to continue. “Usually when I want to give up, I think about my mom and how she would want me to keep going. Also, I say to myself I want to be better than the person next to me. I never give up,” she replied. Her teammate Kim Sugarman, a sophomore, comments, “Sometimes she struggles, but she tackles her obstacles.”
Like any sport there are difficulties and issues that arise such as juggling school, hanging with friends, and her sports. “Sometimes softball gets really hard trying to practice and go to all the games, especially with school work,” Brooks validated. Even with these difficulties she perseveres and succeeds with flying colors. “She makes smart plays in softball and in life. Sydney tries hard in schools and in sports. She is an awesome teammate and an even better friend,” Sophomore Kim Sugarman praised. Agreeably, Coach Ken Kretchman declares, “She is not only a great player, she is a strong leader with a heart of a champion. I would take a field full of girls like her.”
Every good athlete has some sort of backing and supporter- for Sydney it’s her dad. “My dad has always been my biggest fan and biggest supporter through my entire softball career,” Brooks said. Not only is her dad her greatest supporter, but he also helps her practice softball in things such as hitting and throwing. “She always wants to be the best, but doesn’t discount her values, or her integrity. She is the most coachable person that I have ever met and has one of the best attitudes in the sport and in life. I am just proud to be her father,” Brooks’ dad, Jim Brooks proudly claims. “She has, through softball, become a leader, struggled but overcome, and has been a great person in winning, but a better person in losing. I think softball has humbled, encouraged, and strengthened her mentally.”
Sydney has big plans for the future, so don’t think she is finished after just high school softball. “I plan on going to college to play softball, especially the University of Florida or Alabama,” she clarifies. With her work ethic and determination, I am excited to see how far she will go.