PREP SOFTBALL: ‘Never stop pushing’: Holly Pond’s Maggie Nail ready for freshman season

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Holly Pond’s Maggie Nail. (Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. — The 2023 softball season is underway for the Holly Pond Lady Broncos and they’re looking to make yet another trip to Regionals. They finished with a 14-13 record last season and were the runner-up in the county and area tournaments and they clinched a spot in Regionals as well. Freshman Maggie Nail learned a lot during that run last season.

“Last season went well. I was very proud of the outcome we had. Even though we fell short in Regionals and had our ups and downs, our drive and passion for the game was always there. I loved our intensity into every game. The dugout was always loud, and we never stopped playing,” Nail said. “I learned when things got tough to never stop pushing. At the beginning of the season, I had a small injury and that made my mindset tell me to keep going. The seniors had great leadership and that made me want to step up and be a leader as well. I also learned that everyone plays a role in the game, whether it be on the field or in the dugout.”

Maggie had a blast playing with a great group of girls last year and learned so much from her coaches.

“The girls always had a positive attitude and had the drive and mindset to win the game. I’m very glad I got the opportunity to play with those girls, especially Kaylee Stallings. She was someone I looked up to being so young on the field. She was a great leader and teammate. The atmosphere of playing with those girls was always something to look forward to on game days,” Nail said. “Jason Widner and Emily and Erik Ryan were the ones who never let us give up on ourselves, even when the games were tough. They encouraged me, pushed me, and believed in me even though I was an eighth grader.”

Maggie was so blessed to play with an amazing group of seniors last year and soaked up as much as she could from them. She played some travel ball during the offseason and worked on another important thing during the offseason.

“Seniors are always the teammates that should be leaders and all of our seniors showed that they were leaders on and off the field. I had so many fun memories with them. Our trips to Regionals were the best and they always made it fun. Motivation was a big factor in those girls. No matter if you made an amazing play or made an error, they always made sure to pick you up,” she said. “I play travel ball during the summer and fall. The biggest thing was the new strength training program that was offered to us last summer, led by Steve Johnson, which helped improve strength, agility, and mental toughness.”

Maggie has some individual and team goals for this season and talked about what will make this team special to watch.

“My individual goals would be to work when nobody is watching and do whatever it takes to help the team succeed. Our team goals are to win county, area, make it to Regionals, and make it to state,” she said. “Our team will be special to watch because we are willing to do whatever it takes to win.”

Maggie talked about an important role model that she feels blessed to have in her life, plus the best advice that she’s ever been given.

“Morgan Stiles is one of the older girls on my travel organization, Sparks Elite. She has always set the standard of the kind of player I wanted to be. She has worked hard to get where she is now as she is committed to Oklahoma State,” she said. “The best advice someone has ever given me was to work while no one is watching. Nobody has to know what you do on your own time except you. When you work hard, it will show.”

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