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The next chapter

by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor

It’s a day to be celebrated for all your accomplishments over the years.

Senior Day is that time of year that is both happy and sad. Happy because you are being honored for everything you have done for your program throughout your carer. It’s a sad day, because it’s the ending of your time there.

In this instance, it’s an ending to the high school career for West Seneca West softball player Mikayla Hussar. Hussar has been a standout for WSW ever since she picked up a bat to start her high school career.

But, all good things must come to and end.

“On this day, emotions are high as we celebrate all the friendships I've made that will last a lifetime. I first started playing travel softball with some of the girls on the team,” stated Hussar. “Coach Bonetto and Coach Carl were one of my first coaches in the beginning. I was in tears to hear them tell me how proud they were of me with all of my accomplishments leading up to now. I have to say goodbye to the people who made me who I am today, as a player and a person.”

Tears flooded in as Hussar started to remember all the great times she’s had at WSW. The biggest thing she remembers is the friendships she has made. Some of these friendships are ones that she will take away for a lifetime.

Sports is funny that way. You play sports to be competitive, and then you come away from it making friends that you will have for a lifetime.

“During my time at West, I believe the people standout the most. I have gained multiple friendships that I believe will last a lifetime. For example, Ari Gioia has been there for me all four years of high school and our close friendship has helped me through obstacles I thought I couldn’t overcome,” stated Hussar. “My teachers and coaches helped me become a successful young adult and helped me prepare for my future. Bonetto has pushed me to be a leader on and off the field. She always saw the potential in me and showed me I could accomplish anything.”

Her potential has taken Hussar to Canisius University. It has always been a dream for Hussar to play softball at the highest level. She has put in the hard work to realize her dreams. During the recruiting process, all the boxes were checked when it came to Canisius.

Hussar will be able to play at the highest level, while also being able to play in front off friends and family. She also will get a great education. Canisius was the best fit right from the start.

“Getting the opportunity to play Division I softball has been a dream of mine since I was little. I was given the chance to continue playing the sport I love in my future,” stated Hussar. “I was able to accomplish my goals I had set for myself at a young age and continue to make my parents proud. I was very proud of myself because of how far I have come and I knew all of my hard work paid off.”

While she settled on Canisius, the process was still stressful at times. Hussar was making a decision on where she wanted to be for the next four years. That’s a lot of pressure to put on an 18-year-old.

Figuring out where you want to go, if that’s going to be the right fit for you. Hussar also was dealing with all these college coaches at her games. It’s easy to go out there and play your game, but when the pressure is on, it’s different.

“As I juggled the obstacles of life with sports, school, work, and life in general the thought of where I was gonna be for the next four years was very stressful,” stated Hussar. “The constant thought of who was watching me during my games was very hard mentally because I was always worried about how I was performing in front of them. It was a difficult decision because I had other schools in mind so I had to make the tough decision of wanting to leave my home or not. Canisius was perfect and felt right because I knew Buffalo is where I needed to be.”

With all the recruiting stuff in the rearview mirror, Hussar has been able to go back out there and play ball. That’s where she is the happiest, on the diamond. Every time you see her on the diamond, with her teammates, you can see the smile from ear to to ear.

She is happy to play the game, and it shows.

You can see Hussar is locked in at the plate. That sweet left-handed stroke in something to watch every time she steps up at the plate. Watching her locked in at the plate is a joy to watch.

“Hitting is what I love the most and when I step into the box and look up at the pitcher my head is clear. I recently sprained my ankle during our game against Williamsville East and all of the pain went away as I stepped into the box,” stated Hussar. “I am able to lock in and tune everything out that is going on around me. I ended up going 4 for 5 that game.”

It’s that swing though. That sweet swing from the left side. You can see the perfect balance as Hussar moves her weight just right and she rips the ball the down the line. At times, you see everything perfect.

The perfect swing, the perfect technique. Hours of practicing in the backyard has definitely paid off for Hussar.

“I have put in countless hours in my backyard swinging off a tee, hitting soft toss with my dad, and hours with my hitting coaches over the years,” stated Hussar. “By swinging off the tee I was able to slow down my swing and break it down to perfect my mechanics. I would work on a wide range of hitting drills over and over again to help me in any slump I was in and help me become a strong hitter from the left side of the plate.”

It’s in the box where Hussar feels the most comfortable. When she is on the on deck circle Hussar is eager to get up to the dish and do some damage, She has the confidence in herself every time she steps on the field.

“I walk onto the field with the utmost confidence. When I'm in the on deck circle I am so eager to get up to bat,” states Hussar. “I want the defense to see that I am a good hitter and that I’m not afraid to hit any pitch thrown to me. I remind myself that I am a good hitter and I stay aggressive at the plate to hit the first strike I see.”

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