4Frenzy Video: Chippewa Valley High School softball team

Nominated in Spring Fan Choice Awards

A New Coach

Mike Matway may be starting a new gig as the Big Reds varsity softball coach, but he draws on his years of teaching experience to inspire his team, emphasizing more of a mental approach to the game.

“It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you respond. How you respond will determine our success,” he tells them.

Senior Kristin Tesch said she appreciates the way Coach Matway is building the program and bringing a different atmosphere to the team.

Himself an alum of Chippewa Valley, Matway admits he walked into a pretty good situation with six returning seniors that are great players, five of them playing on varsity since they were freshman.

“When they heard a new coach was coming, I don’t think they were super excited about that,” he said.

And you can’t blame them, this being their third coach in four years. But Coach Matway made a pledge to them that it’ll be a fun year because it’s their last before heading off to college.

“Coach Matway has a whole bunch of plans for this season. So, I’m super excited,” said senior Becca Seely.

A Tough Couple of Years

It hasn’t been easy for the girls who missed their sophomore season because of COVID, and then disappointed again when last season was delayed.

“I’m just excited to have a full season this year with a new head coach,” said senior Kennedi Pochmara, who started playing softball because she wanted to be like her older brother who she watched play baseball growing up.

“I think coming together as a team for one final year…the team bonding with a new coach…is really good for all of us,” senior Lexi Murray said.

Motivation

Emma Ruthenberg, who’s also in her last year, said her dad was her biggest influence. “He played baseball as a kid and it was always his favorite sport. So I wanted to be like him.”

Kristin begged her mom to play baseball since she was in 4th grade. “I played baseball, then I had to switch. It’s just what happens,” she added ruefully.

But for 12th-grader Brooke Hirst, it was a little different. “My parents always had me try a million sports and this is the one that stuck,” she said playfully.

Background

Coach Matway has been at Chippewa Valley for 10 years, teaching U.S. History and Government. He’s been coaching even longer, mostly basketball and football, and one year of JV softball.

He played soccer, baseball, football and basketball when he was younger. And still tries to play some pickup basketball, he said jokingly, as long as his body can handle it.

His Favorite 4

Sports Team: The Lions - like most families in Metro Detroit, it’s a family tradition

Sport: Football

Places to go in Metro Detroit: Downtown, Detroit Zoo, Grey Ghost Restaurant, Old Woodward Cellar

Just For Fun: Hanging out with his wife and 3 boys - Ben, Luke, and Sam. And going up north.


About the Authors:

Donna is a Creative Services producer.

You can watch Kim on the morning newscast weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., and frequently doing reports on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.