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Amy Han and Claire Marshall

Athletics

Senior Nights: Varsity Softball

April 30, 2020

With the Spring 2020 athletics season disrupted by COVID-19, we are celebrating the athletes of Cary Academy’s Class of 2020 via ‘virtual Senior Nights’ each week. On Senior Night, each player is introduced by their coaches and then given the opportunity to make remarks.

Amy Han

Amy Han

Parents: Bing Han & Michael Zhou

From the coaches

Amy, we’ve been together a long time.  From the years of playing for the Town of Cary rec league until this final year, it has been my pleasure!  As an All Conference and All State player, you have been a rock star; anchoring third base and as an offensive juggernaut – hitting for both contact and power.  However, that is just a small part of what you have meant to our team.  Your smile, laughter and engaging personality are infectious.  You have done an excellent job keeping the team loose, yet focused.  And, this year in particular, you have stepped seamlessly into a leadership role.  While being compassionate and welcoming to new players, you have kept our high standards intact. 

 I want to personally thank you for everything you have done for CA softball.  The foundation that you and Claire have built upon from other captains continues to make us better.  While this season was cut short, remember the good times; Disney, your teammates and your final hit – a home run over the wall at the Wide World of Sports!

We wish you continued success and nothing but the best next year and in the year’s to come – we love and will miss you – CA Softball!  

Amy Han and Claire Marshall

In her own words

First, I want to thank my parents for always supporting me. They have come to almost all my games and when they couldn’t make it, they were always eager to hear about every play I made and every hit I had. I love you guys!

Dad, I am forever grateful that you played alongside me for most of my softball career. Thank you for taking me out to the field to work on my skills and coaching me to be a better player. Thank you for all the time that you have spent dealing with my stubbornness. I always knew you were right, I just didn’t want to admit it then😊

Mom, every time I see you at my games it makes me immediately happier. Thank you for cheering me on and always being there and taking care of me. It was awesome that you got to come to Disney with the team. I am blessed to have a mom like you. 

Thank you to all my coaches. Coach Jones, you are the best coach I have ever had through all my years of playing softball. Thank you for putting your faith in me and believing in me even when I did not believe in myself. I am honored that I got to have you as a mentor. You have helped me gain my confidence as a player and shaped me into a leader. 

Coach Bright, thank you for always being there for me. I will miss getting to high five you at first base. Thank you for pushing me to always be the best version of myself. Even when I was down on myself for making a mistake or not hitting as well as I wanted to, you never failed to encourage me. Thank you for sacrificing your time to help the team for the past few years. It meant a lot that you decided to stay this year for Claire and me. 

Coach Mark, thank you for getting me through ruts and constantly reminding me to be great. I know that I can always rely on you to help me out or give me pointers. Thank you for working with me on pitching and believing that I could do it. You have made me a better player and I am grateful that I was able to work with you. 

Coach Velto, even though you have only been an official coach for one year, I am glad that you were there. Thank you for always helping the team and making sure no one felt discouraged. 

Amy Han

I started playing softball when I was 8 and I have been playing ever since, moving through the Cary Recreational Leagues and eventually to Captain of the Cary Academy Varsity Softball Team. Softball has allowed me to form unbreakable friendships and bonds with a lot of amazing people. It has taught me how to be a team player, a leader, a friend, and most importantly, a better person. It still feels surreal that I did not get to have a full season with such an amazing team, but I know we would’ve been crushing it this season. 

I will miss the Disney Trips dearly. This year’s trip was arguably the best trip ever. The best memories of the team that I have had throughout the years were mostly all in Disney. I am so thankful that I got to bond with the team this year, and even though we only played 2 games, you guys are the best team ever.

Ryan and Hannah, you are going to make amazing captains next year; I sincerely believe you will be awesome. Ryan, I will miss our moments in the infield together. I will miss the times we shot each other goofy faces or complained about a bogus call by an umpire. Hannah, you are such a hard worker and a dedicated teammate. Seeing you battle it out on the pitcher’s mound every game inspires me to work harder. I am thankful that I got to play with both of you for the past few seasons. 

I leave everyone on the team the joys of softball. I want you all to have the same amount of fun, if not more, that I have had the past few years. I hope you guys will continue to be amazing, kind, and hard-working young women. Remember not to bully Coach Jones too much!

I am going to NC State for Industrial Design this fall. I am grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way and excited for what is yet to come.

Claire Marshall

Claire Marshall

Parents: Amy & Michael Marshall

From the coaches

Claire, I have truly enjoyed watching you grow as both a player and a person these past six years.  While becoming more comfortable at the plate, you have really come to Own centerfield.  When balls are hit your way, we know it’s a sure out or the right play will be made.  But your biggest stride was on full display this season.  Your confidence and mentorship was exactly what our other young outfielders needed.  I still think about you stopping practices in Disney to explain to the other girls why the play was here or there; that’s leadership!

I was fortunate to have two amazing captains this year.  I consistently overheard the new girls talk about how nice you are and what a good job you did of making them feel a part of the team.  While it’s a difficult job as a leader to befriend your teammates while also holding them accountable, you did it flawlessly.  You earned everyone’s respect and friendship; well done!

With the pieces we had in place this year, I truly expected to have a special season.  While cut short, the time away has given me an opportunity to reflect on how much I appreciate our team and the atmosphere you and Amy have continued to cultivate. Thank You!

As you transition into the next phase of your life, I wish you continued success.  We love and will miss you – CA Softball!

In her own words

First, I would like to thank my coaches for everything they have done for me the past several years. Coach Jones, thank you for sticking with me and Amy for the past six years – your ability to push our team forward while having fun with us has taught me how to approach life. Coach Bright, thank you for continuing to support, encourage, and push us even when our team was struggling. Coach Mark, thank you for believing in me more than anyone else and spending so much time with me perfecting my crow hop. Coach Velto, thank you for dealing with our crazy team and supporting us through it all. T

Thank you to my teammates – you guys are the most fun and amazing group of girls.  I am so lucky to have each and every one of you in my life. My favorite part of the season every year was going to Disney together, but I have to say that this year’s Disney trip was extra special, especially all our Skyliner trips!

Amy Han and Claire Marshall

I leave the outfield to Stella, Ava, and Mia, joking around constantly to Bella and Cici, and British accents to the Spice Girls. To Hannah and Ryan, I leave this crazy bunch of girls – I know you will be amazing captains next year. 

Lastly, I want to thank my family.  Mom and dad, you didn’t miss a single game and I can’t thank you enough for the endless amount of support. Thomas and Tyler, thank you for supporting me from afar and working with me in the offseason. 

Next year, I will be attending the University of Notre Dame where I plan to double major in biochemistry and economics. 

Amy Han and Claire Marshall

Written by Dan Smith, Digital Content Producer and Social Media Manager

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