We recently had the opportunity to interview a hometown girl who has a tremendous opportunity to play for the Worcester Hawks this summer. Sarah Harms is a pitcher from Wilsonville High School in Oregon. She has been putting together a fantastic softball career that will be elevated this summer, as she travels to the other side of the United States to play for former Olympic coach Ralph Raymond.
Enjoy this excerpt from our interview and look for more on Sarah’s fastpitch adventure later on this month.
Q: How were you selected to be on the Worcester Hawks?
A: It started with a trip over to the East Coast in January 2013 for some college visits. Seeing that the majority of schools were located on that side of the Mississippi, I was interested in looking at some of those colleges to see if any were a good fit for me. During this trip, I was signed up for a pitching/catching camp at Yale University. At this camp, I pitched to several catchers who were there for the same reason I was. A mom of a catcher at the camp was talking to my dad. The woman said that her daughter was a part of a team called the Worcester Hawks, coached by the former USA Olympic Coach Ralph Raymond. When I got back home, my dad received a phone call from the Hawks recruiter and I was asked to attend a try out. Two weeks later, I went back to visit more colleges and attend the tryout for Worcester Hawks. At the conclusion of the tryout, Coach Ralph Raymond pulled me aside and offered me a position on the team. I was so excited for the opportunity to play for such a nationally known coach.
Q: What was it like to pack up and leave home?
A: Packing up my things was difficult. It was hard because as I was packing practically everything I would need all summer, I was starting to realize how long I would be away from home. The goodbyes to my friends was also hard because I knew I would miss them, and I would have to start fresh and start to get to know my new teammates.
Q: What was the trip like the day you left?
The trip itself was incredibly draining. It started with an alarm going off at 4:00am. In the early morning, my mom, dad, and I were off to the airport. The three of us were expecting a five-hour flight from Portland to Boston. However, with unexpected fuel difficulties, the five-hour flight turned into a seven and a half hour flight with a pit stop in Seattle. After a long day, and an hour drive from the Boston airport to the hotel, I was ready to get some sleep before the tournament the next morning.
Q: What was it like to move into a new home for the summer?
The moving in process didn’t happen until after the first tournament. At that point, I had gotten to know my host family a little bit and had gotten to become a team with my teammates. However, the settling into my host family’s house was odd because I knew that I would be staying in this home for nearly the whole summer. At this point, my parents were already on their way back to Oregon. Although I was a little shy and nervous, the people that I am staying with are the sweetest and most comforting people ever. They made me feel at home and comfortable.
Q: How does your summer home differ from your hometown?
The most noticeable difference between North Dighton, Massachusetts and Wilsonville, Oregon is the weather. Oregon is either rainy and cold, or sunny and warm. Massachusetts is unbearably hot and humid. Both the temperature and the humidity here are so much greater than in Oregon. There are a lot of little things that differ between the two states, from the supermarkets and restaurants to the accents that people have. But one thing’s the same: the game of softball.
Q: What other thoughts do you have about playing for the Hawks?
When I knew that I was really going to play softball this summer on the East Coast for the Worcester Hawks, I couldn’t have felt more blessed. It amazed me how everything just fell into place. It all seemed to work out perfectly. The very first game I was so nervous, but so excited at the same time. As the games continued, and the team began to mesh, I realized that this was going to be such an incredible and unforgettable summer of softball..