Shrewsbury softball resumes Big Sister Little Sister program after COVID-19 hiatus

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Shrewsbury High School and middle school softball players pose for a group photo as part of their Big Sister Little Sister mentoring program. (Photo/submitted)

SHREWSBURY – After a hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shrewsbury High School varsity softball team has resumed a Big Sister Little Sister mentoring program with the town’s middle school team.

Speaking earlier this month, Shrewsbury varsity coach Jamie Millet said that the program started in 2019, when the high school team was trying to figure out how to incorporate the middle school team into the high school softball program. One of the varsity players at the time suggested a Big Sister Little Sister program where varsity players mentor middle school players.

“We really want to create that excitement for those middle school kids to want to come and put on the blue and gold and play Colonial softball,” Millet said.

Teams hold joint practice

In 2019 the two teams held team-building activities and went to each other’s games. This year, they resumed programming with their first joint practice together on May 6.

Millet said that she assigns varsity players to oversee the program and match up students from the two teams. Sophomore Bea Millar, who had been a little sister on the middle school team in 2019, took on that task of making pairings this year.

“It’s really different on the other end because, instead of getting help or feedback, now you’re giving it to them,” Millar told the Community Advocate. “I just think it’s really cool to be able to see your little sister take your advice and put it into action.”

Millar added that she tried to match up players who play the same position.

She also said that the advice and mentoring is not limited just to softball. At a recent joint practice as part of the program, she said that she and her teammates talked to the middle school players about the transition to high school and gave them advice on confidence. 

“It’s a personal connection where you can just help them out,” Millar said. “It’s not just about the game of softball. [It’s about] helping them adjust and being someone they can look up to. I just think it’s really helpful.”

Program looks to future

With the program still young, Millet said that the players were disappointed that they were not able to run the Big Sister Little Sister program over the last two years.

Now that the program is running again, though, Millet emphasized that she wants to continue to fit the middle school team into the Shrewsbury softball family.

“That’s something that we really preach in our program is to really feel like a family,” Millet said. “That’s part of our culture.”

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