PREP SOFTBALL: ‘Always have each other’s backs’: Fairview’s Emily Benson talks junior season

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Fairview’s Emily Benson. (Courtesy of Emily Benson)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. — The Fairview Lady Aggies had a solid 2023 softball season, which saw them get within one game of making it to Regionals. Junior Emily Benson recapped that season and talked about what she learned. She played with some great teammates last season and saw a lot of growth from them, plus she learned so much from them.

“I think that last season was a big learning and rebuilding season, but overall, I think we all learned how to overcome problems and adversity on and off the field. I think we were able to pull together at the end as a team,” Benson said. “It was really great to watch my teammates grow and be able to accomplish their goals. They would always pick me up and encourage me when I would make a mistake or when I was in a slump. I had some good relationships with my teammates both on and off the field. Something I learned from my them is to always have each other’s backs and to always have a good attitude.”

Emily learned quite a bit from her coaches. After her JV season ended in eighth grade, she moved up to varsity and has learned so much during her time on varsity so far. She has loved playing with the past seniors, including Jaycee Aleman.

“My coaches helped teach me a lot about the mental game of softball and they always encouraged me when I was having a bad day or made an error. They helped me believe in myself that I could make even the difficult plays,” Benson said. “I’ve learned a lot about teamwork and that it takes teamwork to be able to win games. No matter what your age is, you have to be able to work together with your teammates. The seniors were very amazing to play with. They are very important since they are the oldest of the group. All of them that I have played with have led the team and always pushed themselves to be better. I was able to play with my sister, Kaitlyn, when she was a senior and that was fun. This year, Jaycee was a senior and she was always pushing herself and others to be the best they could be, and she was very fun and a good teammate.”

Emily has seen a lot of growth, not only from her, but from her teammates as well. She’ll continue to put in the work in the offseason as she gets ready for next season, and she has set some goals for herself and the team.

“I’ve seen a lot of improvement from my teammates, and I have seen myself grow. I’ve become better at my position and hitting. I really love to watch us grow together as a team and be able to work together,” she said. “I will continue to do all of the summer workouts, go to my hitting coach, and work on my off time to become a better player for next season. My goals are to have a .350 to .400 batting average and to become a better fielder. My team goals are to have a winning record and to grow and bond as a team.”

Emily talks about what will make this team special to watch, her favorite softball player and team growing up, and the best advice that someone ever gave her.

“If we are all working together, are communicating on and off the field, being in sync with one another, and seeing how we help pick each other up, we will have a very special season,” she said. “I have really enjoyed watching outfielder Jenna Johnson play for Alabama, but growing up, I just loved to watch their whole team play. What I love about Jenna is the effort she puts in on the field when she plays. She lays it all out on the field on every play and since I’m an outfielder, I look up to that. She also isn’t afraid to dive after a fly ball. The best piece of advice that has stuck with me is, ‘If you make a mistake, don’t give up and keep trying until you are successful.'”