Alpena High School’s softball coach says this year’s team might ‘surprise some people’

Courtesy Photo The Alpena High School’s softball team stands together in their uniforms in AHS’s gymnasium.

ALPENA — Heading into the 2024 season, the Alpena High softball program wants to compete with every team in every game.

Playing as a team and ensuring that the little, fundamental aspects of the game are done correctly should lead to a successful season against tough competition.

Similar to many other sports, the softball Big North Conference is full of talent, including the previous state champion, Gaylord Blue Devils.

The season won’t be easy, but Alpena’s experienced coach, Paul Marwede, said he will have his team ready to compete this coming year.

“We have the same goals as always: work hard in the season and prepare for districts come June,” Coach Marwede said. “Our conference is always incredibly tough, and we’ve done quite well in it over the years. This season, we’re going to continue to compete like always.”

The Wildcats’ top strength this season is expected to be their offensive lineup, which will be able to hit for contact, get on base, and even drive the ball into the deep gaps of the field.

Headlined by seniors Emilee Modrzjewski and Sydney Hitzelberger, who will play college softball at Alpena Community College next season, the offense should shine.

However, in order to successfully score runs and score enough to come out with wins, everybody on the team will need to contribute rather than just two girls.

This team will be all about coming together as a team, whether they are winning or losing, so all nine batters will be vital every game in every at-bat.

“I like the fact that we have a good mixture of speed and power,” Marwede said. “We’re going to work really hard at putting the ball in play at a good contact rate. We’re a nice team offensively, defensively, and baserunning, and I think we’re going to surprise some people.”

While the offense should be entirely under control, the pitching side is still to be determined. Because Alpena’s top pitcher, Izzy Edmonds, was recently injured, there’s no clear answer about who will take her place on the mound this season.

Last year, besides Edmonds, Marah Wisniewski and Lanie Morgan took the bump, but with those two graduating, others will have to take that next step and be ready to face any challenge presented.

“That’s what’s fun about high school ball; Every year, we miss our seniors, but our JV team has done an incredible job developing talent for us to pull up. Those players will have an opportunity to compete at the varsity level this year, and we’re excited,” Marwede said.

While the team has plenty of youth and younger talent, the upper-level students have high expectations as key leaders entering the Wildcat’s first games.

Alpena opened the season on Tuesday against the always-consistent opponent, Swan Valley.

Despite losses to Swan Valley, AHS is looking to bounce back and take charge this season.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today