ADDISON — First-year coach Mark Olson is trying to inject some life into a program that has struggled in recent years.
Olson, who previously was a Willowbrook football head coach, has a young team in his first year in charge. The Blazers have just three seniors on the roster.
"We are sophomore and junior dominated," Olson said. "I think that works both ways. I think that works well for the future, but at the same time we’re young. We’re going to be playing some older kids while being young.”
Two of the more veteran players on the roster, senior Sabrina Muell and junior Crystal Marinelli, look to play big roles for AT.
“(Muell) brings that hard-nosed attitude and style that you like to have out there,” Olson said. “It’s a testament to her that she’s one of the few seniors that are still standing.
“(Marinelli) is one of those bulldog kind of girls that you like to have. She brings everything, with the attitude and the academics and the athletic ability."
Despite the youth and a new coach, Olson has said the transition has been seamless. He joked the biggest issue has been sometimes saying baseball instead of softball. Olson previously was an assistant for the AT baseball program.
The Blazers only won a handful of games last year so the expectations are limited to improving from the ground up. The key to the season will be turning good athletes into good softball players.
“We’re pretty raw," Olson said. "We have a lot of just good athletes that can play on any team.”
The hope for the season is to get the younger players experience and not take too many lumps along the way.
“I know we’ve struggled here the last couple years with softball, but I do think our youth movement will be served," Olson said. "Patience will be a virtue I think in some regards to me and our young team, but hopefully we’ll turn things around in the right direction.”
Meet the Blazers
Coach: Mark Olson
Crystal Marinelli jr. IF/P
Sabrina Muell sr. 1B
First game: 4:30 p.m. Friday at Glenbard West
2004: Last year Addison Trail softball won a regional title