Ferndale High softball being led by a new coach this season

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published May 14, 2019


FERNDALE — In addition to his duties as Ferndale High’s girls swim coach and as an assistant with the boys swim team, Pat McNally received an unexpected, but welcome, opportunity when the school’s athletic director, Shaun Butler, offered him the chance to be the coach of the softball program.

Having the chance to coach multiple sports at the school suits McNally just fine.

“Very excited,” he said. “(The) opportunity to watch the young student-athletes develop their skills and get better as the season goes on has been really rewarding.”

McNally said the team has been doing very well. And although things haven’t always gone smoothly during the regular season, his mind has been on June 1, which is the date of the district playoffs.

“From the start of the season until now, we have grown a lot as far as our technical skills on the softball field,” McNally said. “I’m looking forward to the next couple weeks leading into (the) playoffs.”

A few of the players who can help the Eagles in their attempt to be a postseason champion are Keneisha Williams, Kyra Newman and Kirsten Zvibleman.

Newman is the team captain, and this past fall, she won a district championship with Ferndale’s volleyball team.

“I’m hoping that we can get a district title this year because we’ve come so close in the past seasons, and it’d be really nice to take this one home,” Newman said. “This past season, volleyball won, (boys) basketball won, so it’d be nice to have softball take home a title.”

Aside from the short-term goal of competing for a district title, another of McNally’s aspirations for the program can help Ferndale be a strong competitor for years to come.

“Long term, we’re hoping to build the program up (and) have more and more students come out for the softball team,” he said. “My assistant coach (Pedro Kasperek) is really leading the charge with the Ferndale recreation program, starting at those levels and then building up softball within the city of Ferndale, and making our varsity program (a) long-lasting power within the conference.”

McNally described the state of Ferndale’s softball program as growing, and said he is “very excited” to see how the season plays out.

“Every single game brings a new opportunity, and every single game I’ve seen tremendous growth within the individuals and within the team,” McNally said. “It’s really exciting to see that moment when it clicks: ‘Oh, I got the ball and I know where to go with it now.’”

Up next, Ferndale plays at 4:30 p.m. May 17 at home against Dearborn Heights Crestwood.