Farmington High softball coach Stefanie Volpe walks on the field during a game earlier this season. Volpe was named the OAA White Coach of the Year.

Farmington High softball coach Stefanie Volpe walks on the field during a game earlier this season. Volpe was named the OAA White Coach of the Year.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Volpe, five Farmington High players nab OAA honors

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published July 16, 2019

 Farmington High’s Danielle Pettaway runs the bases during a game earlier this year. Pettaway was named All-Association in the OAA White Division.

Farmington High’s Danielle Pettaway runs the bases during a game earlier this year. Pettaway was named All-Association in the OAA White Division.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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FARMINGTON — When you have a season like the Farmington High softball team did, awards usually follow.

After collecting an Oakland Activities Association White Division title and a Division 1 district championship while posting a 23-8 record, plenty of Falcons received end-of-season awards.

Coach Stefanie Volpe was named OAA White Coach of the Year, while Madilyn Beckwith, Taryn Fuller, Delanie Butler, Grace Young and Danielle Pettaway received All-Association honors.

“The honor is special because the teams and coaches within our division have been in this division for quite a while,” Volpe said. “We are witness to each others success and stress.  A lot of my peers have recognized our potential over the last few years and can see the work put in by my players to improve.”

And if you ask Volpe where the credit goes for the Falcons’ success this year, she will tell you it goes to the players.

They were the ones making the plays in the games and stepping up to every challenge along the way. Volpe also noted that her assistant coaches played a big role in the success of the team.

She said she and her assistant coaches were “a good combination of intensity, expectation and competitiveness that created a winning combination.”

“These kids were always working on getting better. Nobody was complacent with where they were at to start the season,” Volpe said. “They realized they had to get better as individuals, they had to be better teammates, and eventually they would be a better team. The best part is that we created a team of 15 athletes that became friends.  They supported each other, cheered for each other and played for each other every single day.”

A critical piece to the puzzle for the Falcons was the mental aspect of the game and the team’s overall competitiveness.

As a former University of Michigan softball player, Volpe played against some of the top opponents on the biggest stage. For her, the mental game was a strength and something she tried to apply to her team this past season.

“I tried to put myself in their shoes. As a player, what did I react to better? Being yelled at or being encouraged?” Volpe said. “I overall tried to stay positive, encouraging and calm in games. In practice I pushed, I expressed that expectations weren’t being met, and that what was on the field would not get them where they needed to be. With that, I think when it was game day they trusted the process, they trusted me, thus trusting each other.”

With their success this year, the Falcons will be moving into the OAA Red next season, which will be a new challenge.

That being said, Volpe is excited about the potential of next year’s group and wants to continue putting Farmington softball on the map.

“Goals are always to win,” Volpe said. “We need to be better than last year since we are bringing back almost everyone. We need to compete in the Red Division. We need to retain our district title. We need to continue to create a winning atmosphere with an understanding that it doesn’t come easy, and we will have to work at accomplishing all of it.”

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