Edmilly Molina is Plant City softball’s star senior.
No 8A-District 6 softball team has been better than the Plant City Raiders in 2017, who returned several key starters from the 2016 district championship squad. Senior Edmilly Molina is leading the team — and the district — offensively, hoping to help the team make one last playoff run before graduating. Next year, Molina will play softball at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Know someone who deserves an Athlete of the Week feature? Email Justin Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org by the Friday before the next issue.
Last time you were Athlete of the Week, you were a sophomore having a breakout season. Now you’re a team leader and still playing good ball. What was your transition into a leadership role like?
I just really looked up to the seniors in the past, how they took charge. I always like to pick my teammates up whenever they’re down in the dugout and stuff. They can learn to do those types of things whenever they’re seniors, too.
What’s a good way for you to pick someone’s mood up?
Just do anything to make them smile. Start dancing, cheering, anything just to put a smile on their face, because that will bring them up a little bit.
What did you learn from those seniors you looked up to?
They basically taught me to create a bond. If you don’t have a bond with your team, you’re not going to be able to communicate the right ways, and you’re not going to be able to play the same … Getting pumped up before the game is one of the most important things we do. If we have high enthusiasm going into a game, it’s going to be pretty hard to beat us.
After the season’s over, you’re headed to college. What are you most excited about doing when you make the move?
I’m definitely excited to be living by the beach. That’s really exciting. The campus is beautiful. It’s a Christian university, so I’ll also be becoming a stronger Christian woman, which is incredible, as well as getting my education. But I’m mostly excited to work hard, harder than I ever have in my whole life. I’m trying to earn my position and start as a freshman — that’s my goal.
What was it, in your experience, that helped you make your final decision? What should someone know about the college process?
Definitely to email as many colleges as possible. Always have a top 10. Even having a top five. Just email like crazy. Some people always think that it’s good to go to a (NCAA) Division I school, but Division II is just as good because you’re receiving an education at the end of the day, and you’re getting to play the sport you love.
What are you going to miss most about high school ball?
I’m going to miss a lot. Getting to have your classmates in school and your friends all coming out to the game — just the spirit, most of all. The school spirit. I’m going to miss the girls, obviously, and my coach, of course … I’m so very blessed to go play collegiate softball.