My name is Jayden Mount and I am a senior at the University of Louisiana Monroe. I am super excited for my senior year to start. This past fall we did outstanding in the classroom, in the community and on the field. We combined for a team GPA of 3.53, had 864 community service hours and went 7-0-1 on the softball field. This year just feels different to me. The senior class has never gone undefeated in the fall, and when I realized that, I knew this group was something special. Our coaching staff is one of the best, if not the best, in the nation. They care more about us as people rather than just another player. Coach Molly has done a fantastic job of leading this program in the short time that she has been here. She has impacted my teammates and me more than we could ever imagine. Coach Molly has seen excitement for each other and passion for the game. She believes this is what it takes to win a championship, and she has seen those two things take place on her championship teams. We got a new pitching coach, Lea Wodach, she played softball for the University of Oklahoma. She has brought a tremendous amount of knowledge to our program and is taking our pitchers to the next level. Our outfield coach, Jessica Thornton, does a great job working with our outfield. She is very detail oriented and knows the game very well. Megan Shaw was a former player at ULM and is now our Graduate Assistant. Her knowledge for the game is immeasurable. This season is going to be very special and it will be one that we remember forever.
Our first team practice was AMAZING. My teammates and I really lived out our core values SHIP. Our core values are selfless, hardworking, impactful, hardworking. We could all tell everyone worked so hard over the break. We did the things that cannot be taught, such as, energy, effort and attitude. I was very impressed with everyone and was so happy to be back on the field with my wonderful teammates. The look on the Coaches’ face were priceless. They knew that this year was going to be something special. After that practice Coach Molly said “Wow, you guys are challenging us, I’m going to have to come with new drills because we are so far ahead.” When she said that it gave me chills. Knowing that our coach saw how hard we worked over break really set the tone for this new year. We will have some new faces on this year’s team because we graduated six seniors last year. Amber Coons is a Junior transfer and she said, “I’m most excited for the opportunity to make a positive impact on this team this season. I’m so ready to take the field in new colors this year and leave it all out on the field with my teammates by my side.” Hearing how excited Amber is to be on this team makes me very happy because we have taken her in just like she has already been here for three years. My teammates are one of a kind. Freshman Jacelyn Buck has already made a huge impact on the team so far. When asked what she was most excited about playing her freshman year, she said “I cannot wait for the opportunity to play with this new team and to do what I can to contribute and accomplish something amazing. I believe we have the potential to do great things this year. I’m just happy to be a part of this wonderful group of ladies and having the opportunity to fulfill my dreams of playing college softball.” We have a special bond that will elevate our play on the field. We will do anything for each other on and off the field. I have had the privilege of being surrounded by people that believe in me just as a I believe in them.
As I go into my last year, I want to make it the best year yet. I wouldn’t trade last year for the world because of how much I grew as a person and a mentor for later in life. Last year taught me how to handle adversity and to just keep pressing on. When we got to conference tournament, we played free. We had nothing to lose and we showed everyone we were there to win. This year will be all about playing free and playing for each other. In my senior year, I want to make history. I want to go where no other ULM Warhawk softball team has never been before. I am going to lead my team in the right direction, and we are going to show everyone who we are. I have gotten the opportunity to talk about my team a lot this year, but my favorite thing to do was go to Shreveport, Louisiana and talk about how excited we are to play the USA Olympic Softball Team. It is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and I will forever be grateful.
Knowing this is my last year playing as a ULM Warhawk, really has put everything in perspective. I am taking everything in while playing by some of the best girls in the nation. They really are my best friends and will be for a lifetime. It has truly been a blessing to wear ULM across my chest for the past three years and I can’t wait for season to start. The support that we have from our parents and the community really shows how much people are behind us this year. I would have never gotten here without God, my family, friends, past coaches and mentors. My family has been my rock since I got to ULM and I am forever grateful. God has given me this wonderful opportunity to play beside these girls one last time. I can’t wait for our home opener on February 7, 2020 against SFA.