When Julia Renny was called up to Syosset High School’s varsity softball team as an eighth-grader, expectations were modest. She didn’t have to be a leader, but she knew exactly what she wanted out of the experience.
“I was really honored,” Renny, a shortstop and third baseman, said. “The older girls really pushed me and took me under their wing. They helped me become more comfortable and play with older people.”
Renny admits she was nervous when she was first named as a member of the Braves’ softball squad. It’s a sport she’s been playing for years. However, she didn’t believe she’d get the call to join a varsity team at such a young age.
But within a year, Renny has emerged as a leader on and off the field for Syosset. She hit .382 last year, receiving All-Conference honors and the team’s MVP award.
Splitting time between third base and shortstop, she quickly developed an understanding for varsity softball. Thanks to her sharp thinking and impressive skill set, head coach Nicole Shurgin has high expectations for the new season.
“Julia Renny works hard everyday on the field,” Nicole Shurgin said. “She gives 110 percent and is the first one to the field and the last one to leave. She is the definition of a true team captain. She always puts the team before herself. I am excited to see what the next four years at Syosset High School have to offer her.”
Renny credits her teammates for helping with the adjustment period. It can be intimidating for an eighth-grader to play on a varsity team.
But this was a challenge that, as a shortstop, she knew she can handle.
“For shortstop, you need to lead your team,” Renny said. “You always need to be talking and able to communicate with everyone at the same time. If there’s a pop up to the shortstop, it’s yours no matter what. For third, the ball comes on you much faster, so you have to be ready for that. At shortstop, you can wait on the ball a bit.”
This year, Renny is aiming to be the best leader she can. As a high school freshman, it’s a lofty goal. However, it’s one she is determined to achieve as one of the team’s standout players.
“I need to communicate more,” she said. “I need to lead the team a little bit and make this team the best we can be. I can be there for them, making sure everyone’s responsible. If they are down, you have to pick them up and help them.”