High School Softball

SENIOR STARS: Katy’s Blakeman all about Tigers, softball

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 3/29/20

Sydney Blakeman found her way through the game of softball.

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High School Softball

SENIOR STARS: Katy’s Blakeman all about Tigers, softball

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Sydney Blakeman found her way through the game of softball.

“I was good at it, and it gave me a confidence I never had,” the Katy senior said.

Blakeman has produced an impressive career with the Tigers, one that has paved the opportunity to play at the next level with the University of Texas-San Antonio.

She was a valuable contributor to Katy’s Class 6A state championship team last season, doing whatever it took to get on base. Blakeman led the team in hit-by-pitches and was also a team leader in stolen bases, earning a .400 on-base percentage.

Softball has been the biggest part of Blakeman’s life, and playing for Katy has been “an honor,” she said. No other coach has had the impact on her athletic career like Katy head coach Kalum Haack.

It’s why the possibility of the UIL canceling the rest of its spring sports season, due to precautions for novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is unimaginable.

“Heartbreaking,” Blakeman said. “I’ve been a part of some tough losses on the field. Games I’ll never forget … but nothing in my softball career has been more heartbreaking than this. This will take a long time to get over.”

Still, Blakeman is optimistic. The UIL has stated that, though the earliest games may resume is May 4, it intends to resume competitive seasons that have yet to be completed. That would include softball. Blakeman has worked through a lot of hitting drills in the family’s garage to help pass the time by.

The hiatus caused by the UIL’s suspension of athletics since March 16 has been just another obstacle for a young lady that thrives against them. At 5-foot-3, Blakeman said she’s always had to work harder than others to compete and keep up. Her drive and work ethic is considerable.

“Since I was nine years old, I played softball 10 out of 12 months, most every weekend,” Blakeman said. “I never had time for much else.”

Blakeman talked some more with The Katy Times about softball and life.

Q: How early of an age did you start playing softball? What was it that made you fall in love with the sport?

A: My first time playing softball was eight years old, with KGSA (Katy Girls Softball Association). I fell in love with it immediately. I played for the Stars, and my first teammate and friend was actually Kat Ibarra, who is a senior at Tompkins. We will both play together at UTSA.

Q: What is the fondest memory that you have of playing?

A: It will always be winning a state championship with my teammates and best friends last year. That’s a bond and experience that will last a lifetime.

Q: In your high school career, what has been the proudest moment?

A: The same. Nothing compares to the state championship.

Q: How has playing the sport and playing for Katy made you a better person?

A: Playing for Katy High School is an honor! I always dreamed about it as a kid and now it’s almost gone, and never how I expected it. It hurts knowing I may never play a game again. Playing for Coach Haack has been tough but rewarding. I’ve known Coach Haack for over a decade. He was my first hitting coach. He pushes me to my limits, and when there are days I feel like I’m going to break, I just remind myself he’s doing it to get the best out of me and prepare me to be successful at UTSA. It’s been trying, but a blessing.

Q: How are you handling these uncertain times regarding COVID-19? How are you spending your time?

A: The virus has been tough for me. I’m used to working, practice. Coach Haack pushing us every day. Life has been different.

Q: What are your thoughts in general about coronavirus and these times of social distancing? How has it affected you as a young person?

A: I just feel like this is God reminding us of His power. We live in a world with so much hate and divide, and I feel like this is God telling us we need to be better people to our families and neighbors. The great thing is we are responding! I see so many awesome things happening. People helping others. It also brings us closer together as families. My family is super busy. I have four siblings, the three oldest of us play sports. We rarely get to be together for long periods, so this has been kind of nice. Social distancing stinks, but I get it. I miss my coaches and teammates.

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