By Madilyn Sparks
Photos by Kurt Johnson
Sisterhood. It’s one of the big stories that makes the Herriman High softball team amazing.
From coaching staff to team members, sisters share a passion for the sport and work towards success together. Sophomore April and senior Ashlyn Visser play a big role on the diamond, while head coach Heidi McKissick draws from the experience of her sister, Pam Slade, in coaching the Mustangs.
“I have played on the same team as her for over eight years,” April Visser said when asked about playing with her sister. “It’s instinctual for us to work together. I actually enjoy it. It’s nice to be able to have chemistry on the field and know what one another is thinking.”
Having played together for years, the sisters know each other better than anyone, and the two have a special connection. Ashlyn Visser also enjoys playing on the same team as her sister.
“Amazing. She’s my hero,” Ashlyn said. “We look out for each other on and off the field. We push each other to be better.”
Soon, Ashlyn will be leaving for college at Weber State University. For the first time in over eight years, she will not play on the same team as her sister.
“It’s going to be hard,” Ashlyn said. “We will make it through it though. Good thing there is FaceTime.”
“She is going to Weber State so she is only an hour away,” April said. “I can go watch her play but I’m sure she’ll still come home to play catch every once in awhile.”
The sisters have been coached by Heidi McKissick and Pam Slade. Those siblings are not just sisters, but close friends.
“We both have coached different teams, but never together,” Slade said. “She asked if I would coach with her. I thought it would be so fun to spend more time with one of my best friends. We are always talking on the phone about what to do to help the girls out. We want them to have a great experience like we did.”
There is a special connection that can only be found between sisters, and we see this in the relationships between April and Ashlyn, and between Heidi and Pam.
“I know her more than anyone, so I can read how we play together better than anyone else.” Ashlyn said in summing up her relationship with April.
The Herriman High softball team has had some amazing seasons, and continues to do so. A year ago the Mustangs made it to the 5A championship game against Lehi. In the end, all of the sisters as well as the rest of the team work hard and have a strong dedication to their passion and love for the game.
Herriman High student Madilyn Sparks wrote this story as part of the Preps Utah student journalism program, powered by Bank of American Fork, which will award two of our published student journalists college scholarships at the end of the school year.