Lexi Bova has a way with words. As you read her account of her time with the Ste. Genevieve softball Dragons, you’ll feel her passion, and you’ll sense her disappointment. She and the Dragons were poised for a strong 2020 campaign.
Coming off a season that saw Bova earn second team all-conference honors, as the team finished 15-7 and losing in the district championship game, the Dragons returned a lot of talent for this spring. Bova hit .408 last season with seven doubles and 11 RBI. She had a .516 on base percentage. She played well behind the plate. With this time off, Bova reflected on her time at SGHS, and what it meant to her.
Q: At what point did you start preparing for your final softball season?
Bova: “I started preparing for my softball season in January, which was not early enough. I had been working out before that, but that still seemed like it wasn’t enough. I don’t think I’ve ever felt fully prepared for the season to start, but it’s always exciting.”
Q: I know nothing has officially been canceled, but what are your thoughts on you and your teammates not being able to get on the diamond for competition?
Bova: “To not be able to compete is an indescribable feeling. I always feel like I’m being overly emotional because I do get very sad and emotional about it. There are aspects of my senior season that I had been excited about since freshman year. On top of that, us seniors have watched this program really flourish over the past four years. I truly believe this team would have been one of the best yet. Working with them was fun, and they always knew how to make a bad day or bad situation into something enjoyable. I’m definitely going to miss the excitement of games, and the team coming together and cheering at the fence. I’m going to miss getting our little softball cheers going and jokingly smacking each other with bats. I’ll miss the jokes and silly things we say during practice to take our minds off the fact we were dying from abs. I’ll miss yelling “STRIKE” at Coach Toombs when he would throw a ball up to hit it to the outfielders but miss. I think I’ll miss this team more than I ever knew I would, until our season was swept from underneath our feet.”
Q: What has been your top memory of your time participating in Ste. Gen sports?
Bova: “I thought about this answer for a long time, and I can’t pin down one memory that stands above all the rest. I remember hitting my first home run, my first grand slam…I remember when I reached a .500 batting average. I remember making the last out in the game, and I remember scoring against teams that people thought we never would. I remember the laughs at practice, I remember my family in the stands, I remember all of it. One, more recent memory, was our last practice. We took some pictures in our uniforms for the seniors, and Mr. and Mrs. Otto came out to take the pictures for us, and then we played against each other. Then, at the end of practice, we had to turn our uniforms in. But before I did that, I had to make sure my number was going to someone who would treat it well. My jersey was passed down to me from Makayla Bader, and I (in a very emotional state) passed it down to Chloe Walker, who even if she doesn’t take my number, I hope to see her thrive over the next couple seasons. Then we had pizza and talked about some memories and joked about camping on the field. I’ve played this sport since I was six, but that team at Ste. Gen. gave me the most memorable times, new friends, and a second home. I wanted to watch the younger girls get better, there are many of them that I grew close to. I wanted to watch Maddie Terry play her first high school game, and Chloe Walker play her first varsity game.”
Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
Bova: “After graduation, I will be attending Columbia College to major in marketing and minor in psychology. Then I hope to work at a corporation and make my way towards marketing manager. That’s about as far as I’ve got with my plan for life.”
Q: Here’s your chance to tell the eighth graders what they need to know for their next four years at SGHS. What words of advice do you have for them, especially those who hope to play sports for the Dragons?
Bova: “To the eighth graders coming in, I want you to know that at the end of practice we all say we are a family, and we’re not saying that to simply say it. We mean it. We are a family, which means we’re not perfect…it means some of us don’t get along all the time, and sometimes we have bad days. But at the end of the day, we all come together and support one another and want the best for each other. On that field you are a team and a family, don’t forget that. I also want to let, not only the eighth graders, but also all the younger girls to know that the older girls are not judging them. If you mess up, have a bad day, strike out, or miss a ball while fielding, NONE of us are looking down on you. We have made the same mistakes many, many times. So don’t get in your head worrying about what anyone else thinks of you. Take a deep breath and do your best, that’s all you need.”
We all appreciate Lexi’s heartfelt thoughts. We’ll all miss a player like Lexi, who never hides her passion for the game.