The 2018 Yellow Jackets are primed and ready to make another run at the playoffs. The Jackets are lead by their sensational seniors: Ashley Colunga, Bailey Richey, Kassandra Vargas and Julia Vazquez. Junior, Laila Gonzalez is set to break out after a solid sophomore season in 2017. The Yellow Jackets are filling the void of losing 10 seniors from last years Bi-District Championship team, but with the young talent and program veterans on the varsity roster, the Jackets are looking to hit the ground running and make some noise in 23-5A.

 

The Amazing Race to the Playoffs
In 2015 the Galena Park softball coaching staff stole a page from Baylor University’s team bonding playbook and came up with the Amazing Race to Playoffs. Teams of three to four players are formed with a focus on mixing up different grade and skill levels to encourage getting to know each other better and learning to work together. The teams compete in activities designed to reinforce skills, test softball knowledge, strengthen and condition, and of course be lots of fun.  It has been a rousing success that returning players look forward to each year. This year’s Amazing Race was held on Saturday, February 10th but festivities were not dampened one bit by the day’s rain. Coach Richey creatively moved the competition indoors and the results were hilarious. The annual costume contest produced some witty and crafty creations. There were life sized trophies, the cast of Mario Cart, the three little pigs, and visitors from Sesame Street on hand. The Bench Warmers showed up with the boys from Sand Lot and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Dora the Explorer found her way in only to discover that the dominoes were too big for a backpack. Everyone looked great but Mario Cart drove away with the win for best costumes. Other events included a Paper, Rock, Scissors tournament that proved to be unexpectedly intense, a scavenger hunt, dizzy bat, an egg toss, puzzle challenge, and skill stations. The day ended with pulled pork sandwiches and sopapilla cheesecake. Team Sesame Street (Sr. Julia Vazquez, So. Barbara Martinez, and Fr. Aaliyha Sanchez) were this year’s winners!  They will not have to pick up equipment after practice for the rest of the year! Coaches Richey, Vela, and McGraw went above and beyond the call of duty to give up their Saturday to create this fun event for their girls. And for what it is worth, G.P. has in fact raced to playoffs two of the three years since the Amazing Race began. Here’s hoping they build up steam to get to the postseason once again!  

 

 

 

 

2018 Softball Season Begins!
The Lady Jackets are working hard and show promise for a successful season to come. Eight seniors graduated from last year’s playoff team so this is definitely a rebuilding year. Yet, Coach Richey reports she is excited about this team. She says that this group of players may well be the most motivated she has worked with to date. She cites a fantastic team chemistry, excellent work ethic, and spirit of cooperation as key factors that have produced very positive results so far. She sees G.P. as a real contender in District 23-5A.  It also doesn’t hurt that freshmen Zoie Garcia and Elaine Gonzalez have proven so skilled and poised that a solid infield is looking good in spite of losing last year’s first team All-District shortstop and third baseman. Seniors Ashley Colunga, Kassandra Vargas, Julia Vazquez, and Bailey Richey are returning All-District notables who can flash some leather as well as swing some bats. Colunga is outstanding at second base. Vargas and Richey will share pitching and first base responsibilities while Vazquez commands the field from behind the plate. They are all determined to wear the uniform as long as possible this season. Junior centerfielder Laila Gonzalez will anchor the outfield. Sophomore Vivianna Alaniz has claimed left but right field is up for grabs. Juniors Julissa Guerra, Jocelyn Longoria, Brianna Castillo, Nicole Vale, and Alejandra Hernandez have all seen playing time in pre-season scrimmages. Junior Valeria Villarreal will fill in at second base when needed and sophomore Abby Chavez claims utility player duties. Optimism is running high as the Jackets begin the season at home on Tuesday, February 13th against Channelview.

 

Varsity game time is 6:00 but come early to watch the junior varsity at 4:30. Coach Vela gives his JV squad kudos for their eagerness to learn and willingness to take instruction. He has been pleased with the progress he has seen through scrimmage opportunities and says his players feed off of the varsity team’s hustle and intensity.


****Welcome to Assistant Coach Marcus McGraw! He is G.P.’s newest addition to the softball program.