By Mario Duran
Cougar News Blog
Cactus Canyon Junior High is striking out gender barriers with its brand new addition to the school baseball team.
Hailli Wilson made her debut as an infielder and the first girl on the Cougars baseball team this year. The team has always been entirely made up of boys up until now.
“I like to think that I am treated like one of the guys,” said Wilson. “We have always been a team with a common goal.”
Wilson follows the same procedures as the rest of the boys on the team, but she has to change into uniform in the girls locker room.
“The daily routine hasn’t changed,” said Gage Stenhouse, one of Wilson’s teammates. “The team seems to treat her no different than anybody else.”
Even though this is her first year on the school team, Wilson has been playing ball since she was 6 years old. She plans to remain in baseball for as long as she is able. There have been girls on other school sports teams including wrestling and football, but this is the first for baseball.
“I have never considered switching to softball,” said Wilson. “I will continue to do my very best and go as far as I can.”
Although the baseball team finished with a .500 season, Wilson has no regrets of choosing it over the softball team, which had a perfect season.
“They [softball team] work very hard and deserve the reward that they work for,” said Wilson. “I will root for them all the way and wish them luck.”
Wilson was put in to catch during the last inning of the last game of the regular season, which meant she had limited game time during the season. She plans to practice on weekends during the offseason to be ready for next season.
“[Next year] I will be 200 percent better,” said Wilson. “I am out at the field working my heart out to be the player I want to be.”