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Work ethic, talent takes Heath’s game to another level

Greg Mast
gmast@ottawaherald.com
Wellsville High School senior Maggie Heath, sitting between parents Robert and Heather, signs to play softball with Bethany College.

Wellsville High School senior Maggie Heath is a softball player through and through.

She started playing T-ball at the tender age of 3. She has grown up through the ranks, playing the game at all levels.

“It is fast-paced and fun,” Heath said. “There are so many things that can happen. It is mentally challenging because you have to think about [situations] before you act. Otherwise, you will mess things up and potentially cost you a game.”

Heath is a catcher likes how demanding the position can be.

“You are involved in every play,” she said. “You can see the whole field.”

Heath’s goal has always been to play college softball.

“As soon as I knew you could play sports in college, that is what I wanted to do,” Heath said. “I want to take it to that next level.”

Heath realized that goal recently when she signed with Bethany College. She celebrated the signing Monday with her coaches and high school teammates.

Chris Rose, former high school coach, said Heath is a special player and person.

“We have been working together since she was in sixth grade,” he said. “To see her accomplishment what she has is a true testament to her and her parents. Maggie is one of the hardest workers I have ever had. All the goals you have set, you will continue to reach those and set new ones.”

Brad Burkdoll, Wellsville athletics/activities director, said Heath made a huge impact on the Eagle program since her first game.

“Coach Rose had confidence in her to start her as a freshman,” he said. “She has risen to the occasion numerous times.”

Heath plays summer ball with the Blaze Fastpitch in Basehor. She is a two-time all-league performer for the Eagles. Heath said missing her junior season was disappointing. She was hoping to be a four-time all-league performer.

Bethany rose to the top of her recruiting list because the coaches and players made her feel part of the program, Heath said.

“They were really open and inviting,” she said. “I felt a connection with the team and the school. The school is a nice small feel. It feels like Wellsville. They have a nice biology areas, which is what I am looking to go into.”

Heath said coach Bethany Gregory Cary contacted her about the Swede program.

“He was trying to find potential [players] to come play,” Heath said. I invited him to some games [this summer]. I went down and toured their campus.”