Coaching helps keep Allee involved in the sport she loves – Lakefield Standard

Posted: April 18, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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Where did you grow up?

I was born in Dallas, Texas, and I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

What sports did you play in high school?

Basketball and softball

What were some of you and your teams accomplishments in high school?

Team accomplishments:

In softball, we made it to the state tournament four out of five years with our highest finish third place.

Individual accomplishments (softball):

Named first-team all-conference my junior and senior year.

Named first-team all-state my junior and senior year.

Named Valley Division Softball Player of the Year.

Selected to play in Iowa Girls Coaches Association All-Star Game.

Where did you go to college?

Iowa Central Community College and Indiana State University

Did you play sports in college? If so, which ones?

I played softball at both Iowa Central and Indiana State. After my senior year as a Sycamore, the track coach asked me to join the team for the conference meet and throw javelin I got about two weeks to practice before I competed on the track team.

What were some of you and your teams accomplishments in college?

Team accomplishments at Iowa Central:

Won the ICCAC Conference championship.

Highest ranking was No. 2 in the nation.

Finished the season with a record of 54-11 and ranked No. 7 in the nation.

Set 20 team/individual, season/career records.

Individual accomplishments at Iowa Central:

Second-highest batting average in the nation (.524).

Broke Iowa Centrals single-season batting average record by 52 points.

Set single-game record with six stolen bases.

Set single-season school records in batting average, hits, runs, triples and stolen bases.

Set career records in batting average, runs and hits.

Named National Player of the Week three times.

Named NJCAA D2 first team all-American, NFCA first team all-American, first team All-Region XI, all-Midwest Region NFCA, Region XI Defensive Player of the Year, NFCA Golden Shoe Award Winner, Female Athlete of the Year.

Team accomplishments at Indiana State:

Set eight team records.

Had first winning season in 22 years and the third most wins in school history.

Individual accomplishments at Indiana State:

Finished sixth in NCAA in stolen bases with 36, breaking previous Indiana State record of 28.

Led the team in runs scored with 36, which tied Indiana State school record.

Ranked top 10 in MVC history in stolen bases.

Ranked in the top 10 in Indiana State history with season and career records in batting average, highest slugging percentage, highest on base percentage, runs scored, hits, doubles, homeruns, total bases, walks, hit by pitch, stolen bases and putouts.

Named Missouri Valley Player of the Week.

Named Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year.

Named to first-team All-MVC.

What is the most memorable game you ever played in and why?

Thats hard to narrow it down to one game but the handful of games that were most memorable were all from high school. Four out of five years our team made it to the state tournament for softball. Three of those games we made the final out on defense and one year we made it on a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning. I can remember each celebration so vividly, like it was yesterday. There arent many better feelings in sports than celebrating a win that gets your team to the state tournament.

What did you learn from playing sports?

Playing sports played a huge role in molding me into the person I am today. One of the biggest things I learned through playing sports was to compete. You want something, you have to compete for it. It isnt just handed to you; you have to earn it. Along with competing, I learned what you put into something is what you are going to get out of it. The work you put in during the offseason is what sets you up to succeed during the season. You dont just work hard and give your best sometimes, but all of the time in everything you do it is a way of life.

What coach or coaches have had the biggest influence on your life and why?

My dad started coaching me when I was young and he was tough on me. He was instrumental in helping me become the player I was. I would have never succeeded without him. He taught me so much about the game and he invested so much time into helping me get better. Growing up, we lived right across the street from a softball field. I can remember taking the bat, bag of balls and our gloves to the field and waiting for him to get home from work. As soon as he would get home, he would come right over and we would start playing catch, working on fielding fundamentals and hitting. He did so much for me and I am forever grateful for all he invested into me. And it wasnt just my dad, but my entire family. My little brother also played a big role throughout my softball career. He was always playing catch with me and throwing me groundballs and flyballs. My mom, sister and brother were a huge part of my journey. For four years, they spent every weekend in the spring, summer and fall at a ballpark watching me play in a tournament. Our family vacations consisted of going to a different ballpark in a different city or state and staying in a hotel. Then came high school sports and they never missed a game. I am so incredibly thankful for their support and I could never repay them for everything they sacrificed for me. My grandparents, aunt and cousin also came to all of my high school games. I honestly couldnt have had a better support system.

Who was your favorite athlete growing up?

I have a three-way tie for favorite athlete growing up: Derek Jeter, Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant. As a shortstop, there was no one I admired more playing that position than Jeter. The guy was a competitor and never took a play off he lived for the big moments and knew how to win. Being born in Dallas, I was a huge Dirk fan. He wasnt the best guy in the league but he worked on his craft, his one-legged fadeaway it was a beauty! I was so happy for him when the Mavs won the NBA Championship in 2011. As a kid, I wore my Nowitzki jersey all the time. And Kobe Bryant was another athlete I admired. He was a huge competitor and played through some serious pain; he was gutsy! I loved how much he valued winning.

Who is your favorite athlete now?

Tom Brady! I love watching that guy compete. Back in 2013, I went to a Colts-Patriots game at Lucas Oil Stadium and when he came running out of the tunnel all of the Colts fans started booing him and I fell in love. You know you are elite when the other teams fans boo your presence. I love watching him play, compete and be clutch game after game.

What sports have you coached and where?

Softball at Indiana State (2014-2015)

Iowa Lakes Community College (2015-2016)

Graettinger-Terril-Ruthven-Ayrshire (2016-2018)

JCC Middle School (2016-2018)

JCC varsity softball (2019-Present)

Why did you get into coaching?

My passion for the game of softball. I have loved this sport ever since I first started playing it back when I was 7 years old. When I stepped off the field for the last time as a player, I knew I wasnt ready to be done. Softball is a huge part of my life and I wanted it to continue to be. Coaching gives me the opportunity to help positively mold the lives of these athletes and help them become confident, successful people for the rest of their lives. Coaching also allows me to give back to the sport that gave so much to me and to my life.

What are your favorite things about being a coach?

One of my favorite things about coaching is having the opportunity to impact lives in a positive way. Teaching your athletes to become better players of course, but more importantly, to help them become hard-working, driven, successful people for the rest of their lives.

The relationships you build with your players and the relationships you have with them after they graduate

Gameday! That feeling you get when you wake up on gameday knowing your team gets to compete against some other team, I love it!

How would you describe your coaching philosophy?

I expect my players best effort every single rep of every practice and every game. I expect them to give 100 percent in everything they do sports, school, life.

What has been the biggest highlight of your coaching career?

Besides COVID-19, the biggest highlight was when I was an undergrad assistant coach at Indiana State and we made it to the conference tournament and won it. There were 10 teams total in the Missouri Valley Conference and only eight of them made it to the conference tournament. We were the eighth seed. We ended up winning the tournament, knocking off the No. 5, 4, 2 and 1 seeds. It was the first time ever Indiana State Softball won the MVC conference title. We then headed to Columbia, Mo., to play in the NCAA Regional Tournament. In our region were the Missouri Tigers, Louisville Cardinals and Kansas Jayhawks. While there, we went 1-2 but we did become the first womens program to win an NCAA Tournament game at Indiana State. That entire experience, from the conference tournament to NCAA Regionals, was just unforgettable.

What is your favorite memory as a coach?

Back in June 2018, when I was coaching at GTRA (1A school), we played Alta Aurelia (Class 2A, third-ranked team in the state) on its home field. Prior to the game Alta Aurelia was the states lone undefeated team. We beat that team that night 3-1, a huge win for our program. To see the girls celebrate after our pitcher struck out the No. 4 batter with two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh inning was a surreal moment. I was just so incredibly proud of our kids and so unbelievably happy for them. What made the celebration even sweeter was knowing all of the work that our players put in during the offseason. Four days a week, our girls showed up at school at 6 a.m. Two days a week they hit and two days a week they did weights. So to win that game against Alta that night, it was the best thing ever to sit back and watch them celebrate, knowing the hard work they put in they were rewarded for. I will never forget that game!

What is the biggest thing youd like to accomplish in your coaching career?

Winning state championships! Id like to build a mindset where earning a trip to the state tournament is what we expect, not we hope for, but our expectations are that high every single season and we accomplish it.

What are your other hobbies outside of coaching?

Playing whiffle ball homerun derby with my fianc, Corey (In our three years of playing, Im winning 2-1!). I enjoy going to baseball/softball games and really to any sporting event. I love going to amateur baseball games in the summer. I enjoy going to Arnolds Park during the summer nights with Corey to walk around the park and get cotton candy. And lastly, I always enjoy a trip back home to Iowa to spend time with my family and friends.

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Coaching helps keep Allee involved in the sport she loves - Lakefield Standard

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April 18th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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