Softball team gets new coach


Kaylee Olson

Coach Breunig coaches freshman Jenna Nigbor as she pitches.

Anna McCarthy, Reporter

The softball team has a new coach. Athletic director Joe Stellmacher says that the former head coach Kevin Issacson stepped away because of COVID-19 concerns. The new coach is Tom Breunig. Breunig coached softball for Poynette High School in 2005 and 2006, however this is his first year coaching for Berlin. 

“I actually wanted to apply for the position two years ago when it was open, but we had just moved to town so the timing wasn’t right. I love the sport of fastpitch softball,” Breunig said. “I had a 10-year playing career in the Madison and Fox Valley area as an outfielder, first baseman and pitcher. I enjoy coaching in general because you get to help players grow in the sport and as individuals. After working with these ladies the past two years, when the opportunity to coach the team presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity.”

Breunig says he is excited to see the team on the field and to have an actual season.

“I’m most excited about just having a season. After COVID-19 caused last season to get canceled, I’m excited to see the ladies back on the field and having fun,” Breunig said. “We have some great senior girls (Jenna Sternitske, Jalyn Moen, Natalie Ott, Corrin Ewald and Josie Bartol) that will set the tone for the rest of the team.”

Players on the team also say that they are not only delighted for the new coach, but to see how their teammates play as they have not played with them in two years. 

“I’m excited to see how everyone has evolved because the last time I played with any of these people was when we were sophomores, so I’m excited to see how everything has changed. I’m excited for the new coach because we’ve never been coached by him before,” senior Jalyn Moen said. 

Breunig says the team may struggle a little bit because there are a lot of players new to high school softball. 

“We are young in some key positions, so that will be a challenge. Our main pitcher (Jenna Nigbor) and catcher (Macey Rilling) are both freshmen. They are also hard workers, so I think we’ll see a lot of growth from them over the course of the season,” Breunig said.

Not only is Breunig new, but the assistant coach is also new to coaching for Berlin.

“We have a completely new coaching staff this year. Haley Polakowski (fourth grade teacher at Clay) is the assistant coach. She played at Marian University for four years. We are excited about the experience she brings to the staff,” Breunig said. 

The softball season has been delayed, along with all of the other spring sports due to COVID-19. 

“We started practice on April 19 and our first game was on April 27. We play about 3-4 games a week. Our home games are played on the North Diamond at Riverside Park,” Breunig said.