Former PHS Softball Star Brooks Helps Coach Mederex to PGSA Title
By Bill Alden
Jacque Brooks first took the field in the Princeton Girls Softball Association (PGSA) 16 seasons ago when she started playing the game as a first grader.
A star pitcher who also had plenty of pop in her bat, Brooks progressed through the ranks, playing for PGSA travel teams and eventually becoming a standout performer for Princeton High.
Looking to give something back to the program that had given her so much, Brooks started coaching in the PGSA after graduating from PHS.
Last Wednesday, Brooks experienced the latest highlight in her softball career as she and her father, James Brooks, guided the Mederex Mighty Mice to a 10-3 win over Lucy's Ravioli in the championship game of the Frank Reisman Memorial Tournament in the PGSA's Major Division which includes players in grades 5-6.
Brooks, who is entering her senior year at Rider University where she is studying to become a teacher, is relishing the latest stage of her life in softball.
"I always wanted to be on the coaching side, I knew I'd enjoy it," said Brooks, who says the lessons she learned as a fledgling player in the PGSA paved the way for her success at PHS.
"I commute to school so I'm around town and can make the practices. It's a challenge keeping it organized and working with young girls. I love the game and the kids so much that the challenges aren't that hard."
Brooks said her team rose to the challenge as it put together its championship run.
"The girls really progressed so much skill-wise," added Brooks. ³I think the best part is seeing the improvement in each individual player. The girls come from different schools and it's great seeing them become friends."
Brook's charges utilized their skills and spirit as they broke open a 4-3 game with a six-run outburst in their last at-bat.
"That was a tough game, Lucy's pushed us," said Brooks, who cited the battery of pitcher Kelsey Burns and catcher Olivia Ray, together with the contributions of Fiona Mahon, Keyana Walden, and Rachel Bergman as keys to her squad's title win.
"We were sharp defensively; I think that made the difference. I think more than anything else they had fun."
For Brooks, last
Wednesday's triumph was an especially fun moment in her long
association with the PGSA.