Softball creates bond of friendship


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Savannah Simpson, left, Jaclyn Mijuskovic, Jennifer Bogus, Molly McLaughlin, Ariel Aparicio, Kayla Gray and Kellie Bobango have been playing softball together for years, some since Viera Little League days.

Sports and friendship are often intertwined, especially at the high school level. That’s especially true for seven seniors at Rockledge High School who will disperse for college to state schools and across the country after years of playing softball together. Some of the young women have played together since their Viera Little League days. 

Together, they’ve led the Rockledge girls softball team to its best record in school history, heading to regional competitions during both the 2014 and 2015 seasons. They also were named All Academic teams at the state level both years. 

From 2009 to 2015, all of the girls also traveled with the Rebel Pride Gold softball club based in Brevard County.

Six of the young women are zoned for Viera schools but are part of Rockledge’s Cambridge Program, a rigorous academic track connected to the university of the same name in England.  

“We are all very passionate about the game and have the same goals of winning and doing our best,” said Molly McLaughlin, who has been playing softball since age 8. She will head to Stetson University to play softball
on a scholarship and major in math.

Teammate and friend Savannah Simpson will also stay in state, majoring in microbiology at the University of South Florida. She will not pursue softball in college, officially, but says the bond she’s formed with her teammates will stay with her.

“No one is really left out. We are all together because of a common drive for softball and academics,” Simpson said. 

 The other young women seniors on both the softball team and in the Cambridge Program are Ariel Aparicio, Kellie Bobango, Jennifer Bogus, Kayla Gray and Jaclyn Mijuskovic.

When they aren’t on the field or studying, the young women hang out in typical teenager ways.

“We go out to eat after practice and games, and like to go to other sporting events together,” McLaughlin said.