Hawks softball expects to be state title contender


Viera High School's Morgan Mordas, left, and Karyana Mitchell have not only embraced the idea that the Hawks must be a state title contender, they're a big reason why it's possible.

Carl Kotala

When it comes to the Viera High School softball team’s outlook on the season, the objective never changes.

“Every year that I’m here, every year that we have this program, our goal is (to get to) states,” Hawks coach Alex Breeden said. “This year is no different.

“Saying that is one thing. Putting action behind it is another. We have the players, we have the character, and we have the talent to actually put our money where our mouth is every year.”

Given that in the two years Breeden and her father, Joe, have been working with the Hawks, they have gone to the state final four and the regional final … it wouldn’t be a good idea to bet against them.

Once again, the Hawks will be led on the mound by Karyana Mitchell. The senior, who recently signed with UNC Charlotte, has been working hard to make sure her final year of high school softball is her best.

“I was in the gym four, five times a week,” Mitchell said. “After that, I would be outside, pitching or I’d be just (running) a few miles just to stay in shape. I definitely felt stronger after that.”

Junior third baseman Morgan Mordas, who has gotten some big hits for the Hawks through the years, also is back along with returners Anna Brait, Delilah Datta, Jace Jackson, Hailey Mix and Jaydin Gentile.

The Hawks also have three key newcomers in freshmen pitcher Skylar Waggoner and catcher Maddie Ford along with sophomore Sylvia Burroughs. A transfer from North Carolina who has verbally committed to play at the University of Virginia, Burroughs likely will play center field for Viera.

“Out of all my four years, this has been the fastest season that people have picked up everything that Coach Joe and (Coach Alex) Breeden are telling us,” Mitchell said. “They have picked it up really fast.”

The Hawks will once again have a challenging non-conference schedule that includes teams such as Winter Springs, Park Vista and South Fork, plus a spot in the Kissimmee Classic tournament to help prepare the team for challenges it undoubtedly will face in the postseason.

During the past three years, Breeden has worked hard to establish a culture at Viera where contending for a state championship is the expectation for everyone in the program.

“The coaches communicate it very well — every day,” Mordas said. “Everyone knows the mentality is to work hard every day at practice.”

With Mitchell on the mound, and all the young talent behind her, the Hawks would appear to be on their way to another long postseason run.

Asked what she expects from her senior pitcher this season, Breeden started her answer with one word: