THE NEXT GENERATION
This month's Warrior Spotlight highlights, Maddy Ybarra. A proud member of the 12U Nor Cal Dirt Dogs, a softball enthusiast and one of Warpaint's first Warriors. Gary Ybarra, Maddy and the Nor Cal Dirt Dogs embody everything We Are Warpaint looks for when searching for Warriors to highlight. Their passion, dedication and appetite for softball is not only infectious it's inspiring.
I had the pleasure to connect with both Maddy and her dad, Gary Ybarra, who embodies a vital foundation that is needed to excel at this level of competition. It wasn't until after I finished my softball career that I realized the magnitude of the sacrifices my parents made to ensure I had the best opportunities possible to succeed at my passion. The impact of the next softball generation would not be possible without, drive, passion, teammates, coaches, deeply rooted friendships and most importantly, parents.
Before we dive into all things Maddy, I have to share that Gary surprised Maddy with a trip to Oklahoma City to watch this year's and her first, Women's College World Series. It's these acts that will continue to be absorbed through out her softball career and will undoubtably help mold and shape the player she'll soon become. Additionally, I had the opportunity to ask Gary a few questions regarding Maddy's strengths, her softball future and essential advice.
WP: What strength do you admire most about Maddy?
GY: The strength I admire most about Maddy is her desire to want to become a better player. If she has a bad day, she wants to come home and do additional work. If she has a good day, she does the same.
WP: What aspirations do you have for her softball future?
GY: When it comes to my aspirations for Maddy, I want whatever she wants. If her dream is to play at ASU, I will do whatever I can to help her make those dreams come true.
WP: If you could give Maddy one piece of advice, what would it be?
GY: I have always told Maddy that she should never get too high or too low when playing softball and to always respect the game.
WARRIOR SPOTLIGHT: THE NEXT GENERATION
WP: If you could name one thing you love most about softball, what would it be?
MY: The competition!
WP: You play for the Nor Cal Dirt Dogs, what's it like to play on a competitive softball team?
MY: Being on a competitive team is very fun. We travel a lot so I get to go places that people my age normally don't get to go to. I also get to know girls from all over the area and I've met some of my best friends because of travel ball.
WP: What is one thing most people don't know about you?
MY: One thing most people don't know about me is that I'm 4"10 and have size 8 feet in women.
WP: What person(s) have impacted your softball experiences and why?
MY: My coaches Adri and my dad have impacted it because of all the effort, time and money they have put into my softball dream. Coach Adri takes the extra time to work with me on my hitting & my attitude. While my dad not only works with me at practices and games, but never says no when I want to put in extra work even after a long tournament weekend.
WP: What is your favorite quote?
MY: My favorite quote is, "I am a member of a team and I rely on the team. I sweat and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual is the ultimate champion."
WP: What do you like most about your Nor Cal Dirt Dog teammates?
MY: My favorite thing about my teammates is that no matter what mood we're in, we find time to dance and have fun. At the same time, everyone works hard to make sure we are the best team out there.
WP: What is your favorite song to listen to?
MY: My favorite song I listen to is "The Man" by Aloe Blacc.
WP: What's your favorite pitch to hit? What's your favorite play to make?
MY: My favorite pitch to hit is a fastball outside because lots of people don't think slappers can hit outside.
My favorite play to make is a double play whether it's in the outfield throwing home or playing infield.
WP: Do you have aspirations to play softball in college? If so, is there a favorite college you'd love to play for?
MY: I would love to play college ball! I work really hard on & off the field so that I can learn as much as possible and be the best person I can be. My hope is that one day all the hard work will pay off and I will play ball for ASU.
WP: You and your teammate, Tyra, have been amazing supporters of We Are Warpaint. If you guys could design the next Warpaint color, what would it be?
MY: Without a doubt... Burnt Orange. Gotta represent the Dirt Dogs.