Brock Netter, Staff Writer
Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.
AKRON — It’s never an easy task replacing a multi-year starter that left a mark like Boo Sturgill left at Wheelersburg.
However, the show always continues and after a year learning under Sturgill’s wings, sophomore Haley Myers has filled that pair of shoes quite nicely after spending her freshman season at shortstop.
“Deuce”, as she’s affectionately known in her own dugout, hasn’t just has taken over for Sturgill at the position, she’s thrived at every turn.
“Two has been my number since I started playing ball,” Myers said. “I think a parent called me ‘Deuce’ one day during a game, and I guess it just stuck.”
Myers has been a model of consistency down the stretch as she found her footing at the dish and in the field. Need a hit? She can provide. Need a defensive play? She’s got you covered.
She’s more than capable of bringing the punishment at the plate from her two-hole spot — because where else would she bat? — evidenced by a three-run double in the Pirates’ district final win over Ironton.
But it’s in the field where she’s having the most fun.
“Defense for sure is my favorite. I love having the ability to back up my pitcher and for her to trust in me, not just making the routine plays, but making the hard plays look easy,” Myers said. “I love seeing our hard work pay off in games when me and my teammates make amazing plays.”
Communication is at the base of Wheelersburg’s identity as a program, and a big part of why the Pirates are back in a Division III state semifinal for a second straight season.
Anytime Wheelersburg takes the field, you can’t help but notice how well the team talks to one another. Right in the middle of that is Myers, whether it’s her asking questions or giving answers.
Either way, she’s having the time of her life playing the game she loves.
“My personality has always been a little more over the top and I’m able to show who I am on the field. My love for the game really drives me in communicating with my coaches and teammates, wanting the best for my team,” Myers said. “The game flows more smoothly when we communicate when and where to throw the ball to prevent errors. Communication is a huge part of our team’s success this year.”
So far, Wheelersburg has collected a total of 25 wins alongside conference, sectional, district and regional titles — all in convincing fashion.
As of right now, Myers’ favorite title win isn’t the one you probably think it is.
“My favorite moment this year is winning the SOC,” Myers said. “Although that title might seem so small to some, it’s the first step on our tournament run. Our conference continues to grow and competition gets better and better each year.”
However, that pick will clearly change if this weekend is as kind to Wheelersburg as it was just six years ago when the program won the state championship.
Myers knows how special this team is and what it’s capable of doing. She also understands that they’re playing for more than just each other in the dugout.
“To win a state title this year, all we need to do is keep other teams to three outs and play our game. If we go to Akron with a good mindset and play within ourselves, we should be just fine,” Myers said. “If we don’t, the only team who can beat us is ourselves. If my team was able to win a state title, it wouldn’t just be a win for the softball program, it would be a win for the community. Giving back to them after all the support they have given us over the years would be great.”