As the squad of College of Wooster softball players started their 2019-2020 school year, they were given life-changing news about their beloved coach — Victoria Rumph was selected into a pool for a chance to play in the 2020 Olympics for Team Canada. “The chance to play for a spot on this team is such an honor, and I plan to soak in every moment of the hard work it will take for Canada to come home with a gold medal,” Rumph said.
The training process for Softball Canada is slightly different this year than in years past , according to Rumph. The pool consists of 21 Canadian Softball athletes, each chosen by Softball Canada because of their skill and stamina. The athletes will take a trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia for their training which will take place in February. After two months of training, the group will head to Tokyo, Japan to play against competitors in games to decide who will make the cut. After the Tokyo trip, Team Canada will select 15 of the 21 players in the pool to play on the Olympic squad. “In the past, team members have practiced and completed our strength program at home un- til May or June. This year, we are utilizing a ton of time as a team so that we can perform the way we need to at the end of July when it matters the most,” Rumph said.
Rumph is no stranger to Team Canada. Being a part of their national team since 2013, she has participated in many prestigious events such as the Candian Open and the World Cup of Softball. But the Olympics is a whole new ballgame. In 2020, softball will make its return to the Olympics after 12 years.
“Beyond the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, softball will not be an Olympic Sport for the foreseeable future as it will not be in- cluded in the 2024 Paris Olympics,” Rumph explained. “This is literally the first and the last chance that I will have to compete in the Olympics in softball.”
As for coaching at Wooster, Jeff Bricker will be taking over the head coach position while Rumph trains for an Olympic spot. Bricker, a seasoned coach for softball, looks to take this new position with excitement and the drive to win. “I am look- ing forward to the upcoming season with as much excitement as ever,” Bricker said. “Getting the opportunity to work with this talented group of young athletes is a great opportunity, and it doesn’t come around very often.”
The Wooster softball team was enthusiastic when they heard the news that Bricker would be their coach while Rumph is away. “Long story short — I love Bricker,” said Morgan Bailey ’20. “He is very passionate about his new upcoming role and I have no doubt he will do all that it takes when it comes to helping the team in being successful.”
Although the Wooster team will miss their coach, they will be rooting her on from the States. “While I would have loved to finish out my career with her as my coach, I want her to know that I am so proud of her,” Marina Roski ’20 said. “After all, how many athletes can say they were coached by an Olympian?”
Torrey Totman ’21 and KendallLloyd’20sharedthesame
excitement for their coach. “We all would just like to tell her that we are so excited for her and this is such a great oppor- tunity. She is sad to leave us, but we will continue to work hard and push ourselves to become even better players,” Totman said. Lloyd stated, “This is ev- ery athletes’ ultimate dream and it is in reach of coming true for Coach.”
The Wooster team has already started to prepare for their season in the weight room, and will really start to rev their engines winter break. “The team is talented, but if we want to compete for a championship there’s certain things that we have to do,” Bricker said. “If you’re a pitcher, get in the gym and throw. If you’re a hitter, get in the cage and get a lot of swings. Put in the necessary repetitions to get better.”