NORTH ANSON — Specialization in high school sports is always a topic of debate. A lot of players will forsake every sport but one, in order to concentrate on being the best they can at that sport.
Then there’s Macy Welch, a senior at Carrabec. Welch is a two-sport athlete — in the spring.
As a first baseman for the Carrabec softball team, Welch is hitting .476. As a javelin thrower on the girls track team, Welch has a good shot at winning the Mountain Valley Conference title.
“I don’t think she’s lost a meet yet this year,” Carrabec track coach Anthony Feldpausch said, “and she’s usually better when there’s someone right behind her pushing her.”
Welch was actually a member of both the softball and track teams as a sophomore, but was told by the school to choose one sport last spring. She went with track, but wanted to play softball again this year without having to give up track.
“We had talked about it last year, and the way it all worked out, the school decided that we couldn’t do two sports,” Carrabec softball coach Craig Knight said. “So we pushed the envelope a little bit more this year. We came to a decision, and it was in her favor. I wish more of them would. I encourage my girls to go play track. It’s tough doing two sports, especially in your senior year. There’s a lot going on. It’s been a struggle at times to juggle everything, but she’s done very well with it.”
“This year, the passion for softball just came back, and I really wanted to be on the team with all the other seniors,” Welch said. “That was just a big part of it, having my senior year, and doing all I can.”
Naturally, there are scheduling conflicts. Welch will miss about three softball games this season, including Tuesday’s loss to Mountain Valley.
Thursdays are a little rough, too. Welch shows up at Carrabec at 5:30 a.m. for weightlifting, goes to school until 2:30, has track practice from 3 to 4:30, then heads over to the softball field for practice until 6. But she’s determined to make it work.
“One of the good things about her is she’s crazy competitive,” Feldpausch said. “So when you get her in those pressure situations, she comes to the front.”
“I know I can do both, and I do weightlifting along with it,” Welch said. “So I can do both, and I know I can do both, and I want to show people that I can do both and excel in both.”
So far, excelling in both is exactly what’s she doing. Her .476 average is far from soft, as in 21 at-bats, she has four doubles, two triples and a home run, giving her a slugging percentage of 1.000 to go with 10 RBIs in six games.
“It’s worked real well for us,” Knight said. “We’re strong without her, but it certainly helps when she’s here. We’ve been doing really well hitting. She’s been a big part of that. She’s really come right out of the box swinging the bat.”
In her other spring sport, Welch threw a personal best 99 feet, 9 inches in the javelin this year. Feldpausch said he doesn’t know of a longer throw in that event in the MVC this spring. His goal for Welch right now is to get her over 100 feet, which he thinks is possible, especially with the weather getting warmer.
“I’m qualified for MVCs and states,” Welch said. “I would like to win MVCs, but I don’t know what’s going to happen. And I want to break the school record (106 feet).”
“She’s strong as an ox,” Feldpausch said. “She’s a great kid. Selfishly, I wish I had her all the time. But I’m nice to Craig. I loan her out from time to time.”
While Welch said she loves track just as much as softball, it’s clear she likes reliving the home run she hit against St. Dominic this spring.
“The feeling after you hit a home run is just phenomenal,” Welch said. “It’d be nice to feel it again. I hit it to right field, and I made it all the way around before they got it in. I just felt on top of the world.”
Welch plans to play both softball and basketball at Central Maine Community College. Feldpausch thinks she could have succeeded in the javelin at the college level as well.
“No question,” he said. “There were a couple college coaches who talked to me about her. She wants to do basketball. That’s great, but she could have been a heck of a javelin thrower.”
Welch was recruited by CMCC women’s basketball coach Andrew Morong, and she feels basketball is her best sport. She was a key factor in Carrabec’s run to the Class C state final game this season as a power forward, and should bring the same traits to CMCC.
“I went down there, and I loved the atmosphere,” Welch said. “I loved the coach and the team. It’s just so much fun, and I can’t wait.”