PREP SOFTBALL: ‘Stay strong for your team’: West Point’s Kara Jones recaps freshman season

West Point’s Kara Jones. (Courtesy of Kara Jones)

WEST POINT, Ala. — The West Point Lady Warriors are coming off another solid season in which they finished with an 18-16 record and added yet another county title to their trophy case. Freshman Kara Jones talked about that season, plus what she learned, and what it was like playing alongside a great group of teammates.

“I feel like we did good as a whole. Even though we struggled at times, I thought we finished out the season playing better as a team. Overall, I feel that this was a building year for us and we will come together and do much better next season,” Jones said. “This season taught me that you aren’t always going to have good days. Sometimes you can have bad days or the team as a whole can have bad days, but you always have to stay strong for your team, because it isn’t about you; it’s about your team. I love every single one of these girls and despite some drama that was going on, nobody let that keep them from playing as a team and loving each other on and off the field. I learned so much from them about how to trust my team, no matter what, to how to work as a team. All of these girls have something special about them that I have learned from this season.”

She added,

“I have also learned that we are going to have drama, but we always have to love and respect each other on and off the field. A lot of them have also shown me that I also have to believe in myself to be the player I want to be. This played a big part in this season because with me pushing through my foot injury, I didn’t believe in myself, but they believed in me. No matter what, they always showed me love and lifted me up on and off the field. I am now using what they taught me to help out other people.”

Kara got to play with some first-time coaches this season and learned some things from them. She definitely improved her performance this season and had to push through a nagging foot injury.

“Even with coach Justin Cornelius being new to softball, he had many good talks with us that weren’t always about softball. He always picked us up and reminded us why we play this game. He taught me that no matter what happens, we always have to remember why we love the game. I have known Coach Madisen Adams longer than the rest of my teammates because she helped coach my travel ball team. She is like family to us and she will make a great coach someday,” Jones said. “I feel like due to my injury, my mental game has improved more drastically than my physical game. I had to learn how to dig deep even when I couldn’t perform at my very best because of my foot. Although I was injured, this season pitching varsity gave me better knowledge of the game.”

Kara got to play alongside three great seniors this season and soaked up as much as she could from them, along with the other upperclassmen.

“They were amazing teammates and they were always encouraging to everyone. They all stepped up and did what they needed to do for the team. I learned that no matter if you want to or not, you have to step up for your team and do things that you have never done before. I love all three of them and they will truly be missed,” she said. “The other upperclassmen were also very uplifting, amazing teammates. All of the upperclassmen are great players and they always showed so much love to everyone on the team.”

Kara had surgery on her foot last Monday and won’t be cleared to get back on the field until August. Once she gets the green light to get back on the field, she will continue to work hard to get ready for next season and has also set some goals for herself and for the team.

“I’m on the Kraze Premier 2026 Walls travel team and I am very excited to be able to play with them in the fall. Once I am released to play again, I am going to work on not only bettering myself as a pitcher and a hitter, but also a teammate,” she said. “My individual goals are to be a better leader for my team. I also want to better my movement pitches and get more timely hits. My team goals are to continue our Cullman County Championship streak and to make another state run.”

Kara talked about what will make next year’s team special to watch, one of her role models growing up, and the best advice that someone ever gave her.

“I feel like everything that we have gone through this year has made us stronger as a team and brought us together. It has definitely gave us all a desire to work harder. I think that our connection as a team will be special to watch next year,” she said. “Although she graduated last year, I looked up to Carlie Wilkins because of how she led her team from such a young age. I also looked up to her because of how hard she worked and because of her drive to be the best. Many people have given me great advice over the years, but I will always remember the times that my parents have told me to play for God and give all the glory to Him and also, to always do the best and be the best teammate I can for Him and for my teammates.”

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