All In: The Next Chapter of Whitmer Softball


For the 2023 season, Whitmer Softball started off with an almost entirely new coaching staff as well as a new head coach. After last year’s head coach stepped down, Whitmer alumni Cassi (Eaton)Waggoner stepped up after being on the coaching staff for 13 years. Coach Waggoner is a 2007 graduate and softball program alum.

Waggoner has been an active member of the Whitmer Softball program since her freshman year in 2004 where she began her career as a pitcher. Playing Varsity for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, Coach returned for the 2008 season as freshman. Over a decade later, she is now taken over as head Varsity coach and has assembled a staff that includes her husband and Whitmer alumni Wes Waggoner as well as one of her best friends, WHS alumni Karleigh Kocar.

¨I have always enjoyed helping athletes better their skills physically and mentally. Seeing them reach their goals beyond what they believed they were capable of is something more rewarding than anything else,¨ coach Cassie shares. She says her goals for this season are ¨win the TRAC (for the last time) and make a state-run,¨ but she follows up with

¨I overall want to help the girls achieve a higher level of play by helping to challenge and push their mental game to believe in themselves.¨

— Coach Cassi Waggoner

She would like softball players to know to trust each other and enjoy EVERY single moment on that field.

“The seasons go by very quickly and they are all over before you know it. Be the person that you want others to be to you, be a good teammate, and be mentally tough. It will take you far in the game and in life,¨ coach advises.

Though Coach Cassi has dedicated many years of her life to Whitmer Softball, she also coaches five travel teams through Doin’ Work with her husband. When she is not on the field she is a teacher in Special Education 6th-8th grade. She is constantly around teenagers and enjoys supporting them. This dedication is another reason why you can expect to see great things from her and our panthers this season and the future.

The coach staff changes don’t stop at the Varsity level. JV blue as well as JV maize have brand new coaches with a lot of hope for a great future as well. Coach Taylor Wietrzykowski, alumni and daughter of associate principal Mrs.Wietrzykowski, has taken on the coaching position for the JV blue team. She is returning to her alma mater after playing on the varsity team at Whitmer for four years and graduating in 2017.

“There is nobody I’d rather coach for,” coach Wietro shares. “I wanted to give back to the program that I had so much fun and success with in high school. Plus, what other program is as awesome as us?” she explains.

Joining her is Coach Mick, also a Whitmer alumni and former Whitmer Softball player.

Taking control of the JV maize team is Coach Abbey Herrera-Crouch who graduated from Clay High School, Whitmers biggest rivals when it comes to softball. Being a Clay alumni does not stop her from being all in for the program.

“It’ll be nice to be playing them, but I’ll be biased and I’ll say I believe our girls will win,” Coach Abbey reflects when asked what it will be like coaching against Clay

Instead of taking the offer to coach for her alma mater she took the Whitmer coaching position and says “ I wanted for a while to get the opportunity to join the high school and softball athletics.” She hopes one day to have her own kid here and to be able to join the softball team and build it up. Coach Abbey’s JV maize partner is Whitmer alumni Keeley Hughes.

“It makes me really excited. I want to see them do well. The program has been great the couple years but honestly it has grown so much to the point where it’s surprising and I can’t wait to see what it entails the next few years. And just for someone who’s an alma mater I wanna bring that like I see it and make it better,” Coach Keeley shares after being asked how she feels about coming back and contributing.

Coach Keeley is very big on connections. She believes a good coach should “have good connections so for one they have to know the game, for two they have to know the player and how they learn and their learning style towards the basis of softball like how they feel about it”.

Overall Whitmer Softball is experiencing brand new things which could really better the community as a whole. Whitmer Softball has won the TRAC for years on end so the new coaches have a lot riding on them to win their final TRAC title before switching programs.