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It was an honor that caught the recent Glenwood City graduate completely by surprise.
Delanie Fayerweather has been named the 2021 Division 4 Softball Player of the Year for the state of Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association (WFSCA). The announcement was made following the annual senior all-star game that was played last Tuesday, July 13 at the Woodside Sports Complex in Wisconsin Dells.
“I was beyond surprised to be selected,” Fayerweather, who was also named to the All-State first team, told the Tribune Press Reporter via email.
“I just remember waking up the morning after the all-star game to my mom calling me from work in tears,” Delanie continued. “I was like, “what’s going on?” And through the tears I heard, “Delanie, you are the D4 player of the year!” I just sat there for a second in shock and then I rushed out to the computer to see for myself. I just couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it.”
Fayerweather, who along with fellow all-state selection Maddie Oehlke, led Glenwood City to its second straight conference and regional championships this season, said she still cannot understand how she was selected over so many other deserving players.
“When I heard, all I could think was, “How did I get it?”, Fayerweather asked herself. “There are so many other girls that are just as good, if not better.”
“There was this mixture of emotions that’s so hard to describe. I just kept refreshing the website and checking it numerous times throughout the day to make sure I saw it right,” she stated.
Delanie wasn’t dreaming, each check of the website confirmed that she had indeed been tabbed as this year’s Division 4 Player of the Year!
Fayerweather said it is difficult to explain how much the honor means to her.
“It means a lot more than I can explain. All of this hard work that I have done has paid off in a way that is bigger than I imagined,” noted Fayerweather.
“I always had a goal of being all-district and all-state throughout my high school career, but it never came to mind to strive for player of the year because it just seemed unachievable. This just goes to show that those extra hours of hard work before and after practice, on the weekends, and when nobody is watching sets you apart from other players.”
“I have my family, my parents especially, my coaches, and my teammates to thank for this accomplishment,” she added. “They pushed me when I didn’t want to go anymore. And, of course, I have Maddie to thank for this. We have been a duo since the beginning of time and have made each other better throughout the years. She is my rock and played a huge part in the success I have had.”
“I can’t be an amazing catcher without an amazing pitcher,” Fayerweather concluded.
In 25 games this past season, Fayerweather registered 39 hits with 14 doubles and eight home runs. She finished with 45 RBIs and was given ten intentional walks (that’s how feared she was as a hitter and run-maker by other teams); She had a batting average of .582, an on-base percentage of .659, and a slugging percentage 1.149.
As a catcher this year, out of only five steal attempts to second base, Fayerweather threw out four of them.
In her high school career that spanned 69 games, Fayerweather tallied 95 hits including; 28 doubles, two triples, and 15 home runs, 94 RBIs and an amazing .492 batting average.
“As Delanie’s coach over the last four years, I couldn’t have been more excited for her when I found out about it,” said Glenwood City head coach Matthew Schutz of Fayerweather being named the Division 4 Player of the Year.
“This is the game she loves and it couldn’t have been any clearer after the school year ended,” continued Schutz. “She was the first to arrive at practices and games, well before the coaches, even when it was 100 degrees those two weeks.”
“Setting up equipment as she waited for the team to arrive. The school valedictorian that worked just as hard on the field. I’m going to miss our time at the plate as I hit balls to the defense, many times shaking our heads at dropped balls or at crappy throws, but also celebrating the successes as we saw the team learn and grow,” he added.
Schutz concluded by saying, “And a lot of laughs too, as many interesting things happen on the field or come out of each girl’s mouth. Definitely a trusting bond between catcher and coach.”
Fayerweather, who will play traveling fastpitch the next two summers, has decided to eventually hang up her cleats and put away her glove and mask to concentrate on her college studies. One of Glenwood City’s Class of 2021 co-valedictorians, Delanie will be attending UW-Madison this fall to pursue a degree in biology with ambitions to go into the medical field.