Garden Hill’s Macie Hackney has found enjoyment playing sports just by simply giving them a try.
First it was hockey after going through a learn-to-skate program.
“I saw a game on TV and it was something I wanted to try,” Macie says, noting she joined the West Northumberland Girls Hockey Association’s house league program. “I got on the ice and it was something that I really loved to do.”
Two years later, Macie noticed the Cobourg Angels girls softball association was looking for players and that piqued her interest. She got signed up for house league and enjoyed it so much she tried out and earned the next season for a competitive team.
“I didn’t really know much about softball at the time, I was just learning my way through,” she says. “Once I got a bat in my hands and was hitting the ball I really enjoyed it.”
Macie, now 17, has played with the Angels for about seven years. She’s always up for trying a new challenge.
Early on she played a lot of third base, but had her eye on another position. She asked her coach about the possibility of giving the catcher position a try and the request was granted.
Macie says she “really fell in love with just being present in all the plays. I really enjoy being able to work with the pitchers and I’ve loved playing that position ever since.”
While different and challenging, she certainly enjoyed learning that position.
“I didn’t expect the ball to come in at that speed, but getting dirty and blocking balls became natural,” Macie says.
Macie still sees the occasional play time at third base and in the field.
“You definitely notice you’re not as busy in those other positions, but you definitely have to have a different mindset and skill. I enjoy playing them all…they all take their own skill and you’ve got to learn to roll with it,” she remarked, noting the focus required to be a catcher is an integral skill to have.
“You don’t have time to take your eye off the ball, that’s for sure,” she says.
A memorable experience occurred in 2017 when Macie and her novice Angels teammates hosted and won the Eastern Canadian U16 Softball Championship in Cobourg.
“I was lucky enough to be able to play in that and that’s a very big accomplishment that we had because we ended up coming home with gold,” Macie says. “All my years playing it’s been a very good experience, just being out there with the girls and being able to work together is a very good accomplishment.”
Macie appreciates her coaches throughout the years, including Mark Rice as well as Faye and Aaron Gaudet. She’s had a lot of the same teammates throughout her rep years as well.
Last year, time spent on the ball diamond was limited, other than a few practices, but Macie hopes that will change this summer.
“We’re looking to get back out onto the field, our girls are ready to get out there, but in such a tough time we’ve just got to hang in there and wait to be able to play again,” she says.
In hockey, Macie played house league throughout her years with the West Northumberland association. She says she aged out of the minor ranks last year, but the sport is “a big part of my life, it kept me busy and hockey is a great sport.”
Looking ahead Macie, who is set to graduate high school, hopes to get to play another season of softball with the Angels this summer. Beyond that, playing softball while getting a post-secondary education is a possible option.
One thing is for certain.
“Sports will definitely always be a part of my life and I’ll definitely try to keep softball in that journey as I go along,” Macie says.
Macie joined the June 16 episode of the Total Sports Northumberland podcast to talk about her sports background. She recorded questions to ask the other featured guest on that episode: Canadian women’s softball catcher Kaleigh Rafter.
You can listen to the questions and answers here:
To listen to the full episode, check out the links below.
To nominate an athlete for Athlete Spotlight, visit: http://www.totalsportsnorthumberland.ca/athlete-spotlight/