One of the Riverside-Brookfield High School softball team’s recent greatest moments required hustle and teamwork.
Last season, the varsity Bulldogs decorated the Class of 2021 seniors’ houses in toilet paper the night before Senior Day using just two cars.
“That was really fun because you get to be with the girls on an off-night. You can be together, run around and just kind of be crazy,” Sydney Weinert said. “It was just really fun and really good team bonding.”
This season’s four seniors — Danika Apostolovich, Allie Krueger, Hannah Organ and Weinert — were honored before the Bulldogs’ game against Elmwood Park April 19 at Veterans Park in North Riverside. The Bulldogs (6-4) lost 13-3 in five innings.
The decoration tradition has continued with a new twist or plunge, so to speak.
“We already got Tee-Peed last night,” Apostolovich said. “What’s funny about it is they even put a plunger with each of our names on the plunger, along with a dog bone.”
All four seniors are four-year program members. Organ, a pitcher who will play softball at Miami (Ohio), is a four-year varsity starter and among the program’s all-time standouts.
The other seniors are in their second varsity seasons. In 2019, Apostolovich began with the junior varsity and Krueger and Weinert with the freshmen.
“I just liked the feeling when we won conference last year. It was cool to be a part of,” Apostolovich said.
The seniors were introduced with their parents before the game by RBHS coach Doug Schultz. The other Bulldogs formed two straight lines near third base and joined raised bats to form an arch for the seniors to run under toward the mound and receive flowers from assistant coach Emma Jarrell.
“I was ducking running out. I didn’t want to get hit in the head,” Weinert said. “I’ve been really grateful. It’s so nice to have two coaches who are so positive but at the same time stern with you. I think it’s really something that helped me grow as a player.”
All four seniors started. Organ has not played since after the second game March 17 when her surgically repaired knee flared up. Organ was at third base for the game’s first pitch. Schultz called time and replaced her with freshman Eleanor Megall.
Junior Ellary Hastings and freshman Mariah Urbina, who both pitched, have been handling the mound duties with junior Mia Gonzalez. Sophomores Emily Organ (.486, 4 HR, 11 RBIs) tripled and Zoe Levine (.562, 4 HR, 21 RBIs) doubled. Megall is hitting .379 with 11 RBIs.
“I like how [our program is] a good atmosphere for every person,” Apostolovich said. “When we get hyped up, we’re really hyped. When we come together and have these games, everyone feels the energy, even the people in the crowd.”
Apostolovich plans to study criminal justice. Krueger and Weinert will attend Illinois and be roommates. They’ve been teammates even before they were 10.
“As young as you can get when you start,” Krueger said. “Tee-Peeing was my favorite memory, honestly. One of the best memories of high school ever, so much fun. It was really so fun.”