Kelley White, Sports writer

After a great year in 2018, the softball team at Venice High School, led by new coach Burt Ogata, is facing adversity.

Last season, the Venice varsity softball team claimed the title of Western League Champions and made it into the CIF City Section Playoffs. Since the softball field has been eliminated due to school construction, they have been practicing once a week on the football field and will be playing home games at Penmar Park. They are spending time also getting used to a new coach.

So far, they have lost five games, amongst the victors are Mendez and Huntington Park High School. They are playing pre-season games in anticipation of their upcoming season.

“I’m excited,” said softball player Ariana Soto, a sophomore and a key player on the team. “We have a young team, so I’m ready to see everyone progress and get better. One goal for us is to for sure grow as a team and get closer and comfortable with each other for future years.”

With their new players, Soto is convinced they will have a successful season.  

“We are all getting used to the new coach and adjustments that are being made.” says softball player Kayla Curry.

The new coach, Ogata, came in late in the school year and had to contend with the lack of a field and poor communication due to not having a central location.

“The new coach is getting a lot of blamed for things, but he is new and was only hired months after the school year started.” said Athletic Director Alfredo Korzenik. “People are blaming him for everything, which I think it’s unfair. He is doing what we are asking him to do, which is making sure safety is first for the kids. We got them new equipment, new uniforms and we finally got a field at Penmar as a home field.”

They have also been missing a few players because of eligibility, but some will hopefully become eligible at the 10-week grading period.

“There are parents that understand and many that are frustrated because everything is taking longer than it should.” said Mr. Korzenik.

They are now practicing at Penmar with the help of a school bus that transports them there and back.