National Spring Preview Series Admin
Thu, February 15, 2024 at 14:34 PM
As the spring season approaches, the Branham High School varsity softball team is gearing up for another successful season. After a promising 2023 season that included a divisional junior of the year award and a deep run in the Central Coast Section playoffs, the team has high hopes for this year. To gain some insights into the upcoming season, we sat down with the team's coach, Jason Yco, to discuss his thoughts on the team, its leaders, and their goals for the season. Coach Yco starts by expressing his confidence in the team's ability to excel this season. The return of senior shortstop Kaliya Yco, who was named divisional junior of the year last season, will bring a combination of speed, power, intensity, and energy to the team. Kaliya is joined by senior utility-athlete Abbie Fales, who brings a steady and consistent presence both on the field and at the plate. Rounding out the trio of key returners is junior pitcher Jacque Connolly-Hojas, who Coach Yco describes as a "Bulldog on the mound."   While the team has a strong core of returning players, there are also some new faces stepping up to the varsity level. Coach Yco notes that the team is still figuring out their roles, but he has confidence in the potential of these players. This includes a trio of freshmen who have earned a spot on the team, showcasing the coaches' belief in their talent and potential. When asked about team captains, Coach Yco speaks about the leadership qualities of the entire team. He explains that the team typically lets leaders naturally emerge, but this season it has been clear since the offseason that Kaliya and Abbie, who are both committed to playing at the college level, will be the ones leading the team to success. Team chemistry and a supportive team culture are crucial elements in the success of any team. Coach Yco shares that they have implemented the "Bruin Bubble," where the team comes together for a few hours each day in a safe and supportive space to be passionate and competitive about the game. It's a bubble that blocks out any outside noise and allows the team to focus solely on their love for the game. However, the coach acknowledges that at this level, most players are self-motivated.