While high school athletics are put on hold during the coronavirus outbreak, our sports staff has created a daily installment called “Senior Spotlight,” which aims to honor some of the local senior athletes whose seasons have been interrupted. Here is our question-and-answer spotlight with Porter softball centerfielder Stella Shaw:
Question: When did you get interested in sport? Was there somebody who introduced it to you?
Stella Shaw: I was first introduced to the sport by my parents when I was six years old. They didn’t really give me much of a choice to play, but I’m glad. I think I really started getting interested in it around eight years old when I made the All-Star team and realized I was good. God knew that softball was going to be something that made my life better so I know He kept me on my toes with the sport for a reason.
Q: What is your favorite part of your sport?
Shaw: My favorite part of softball is being able to get on the field with my team that shares the same love for it and nothing else matters. Or when a good play is made that completely changes the momentum and gets everyone excited, that’s one of the best feelings.
Q: What is your greatest memory from your childhood with the sport?
Shaw: My best memory from softball would be when I was 12 and my select team traveled to nationals and we ended up winning the championship after the whole week. At the time for our 12-year-old brains that felt like we were famous, on TV and our families going crazy for us. It’s just something to be proud of with our friends and family now. That or meeting my best friend when we were eight in all stars, softball brought us together and we’re still best friends.
Q: What is your greatest memory in high school with the sport?
Shaw: My greatest high school memory can’t be held to one thing. I’ve been with three different coaches since freshman year and made a lot of amazing bonds with the seniors all of the years. I would say my greatest memory would be making varsity my freshman year. That really was a good accomplishment and brought me closer to upperclassmen a lot faster than I expected, which I definitely think made me a better teammate and player for the future. The people I met in this program are lifelong friends. I still talk to one of my best friends from sophomore year. Softball has a way of bringing you to the right people. Another good moment was last year when we beat Kingwood Park for like the first time, that made all of us feel accomplished.
Q: Which person/people has/had the greatest impact on your athletic career?
Shaw: My parents and my Uncle Chris have definitely had the biggest impact. They’ve taught me mentally and physically how I can be different and why that can make me better. My parents can be hard on me but it’s pushed me to want to play college softball and makes me want to perform every single game. One of my hitting coaches, Staci Ramsey, has also impacted me a lot in both ways. She taught me how to be a slapper and changed the game for me. These last two seasons at Porter, coach (Heather Mosser) has impacted my game a lot and helped me feel confident to go out and lead, as well as compete against our tough district. She makes us know we are good enough, there’s never a doubt in our minds.
Q: After a hard day of practice or after a game, what is your go-to food or drink to replenish and why?
Shaw: Usually I drink water or sweet tea (shhhh). I like to eat Whataburger a lot even though I know, yes it’s bad for you. My healthy snack is probably applesauce. Everyone thinks they’re gross but those GoGo squeeze ones are the best.
Q: Which athlete do you want to meet and why?
Shaw: I’ve met a lot of softball players but I would like to meet Monica Abbott because she was one of the first higher-paid softball players and she’s inspiring. I’m also in love with the San Antonio Spurs so I would like to meet Tim Duncan, a retired player.
Q: Who’s the most famous athlete you have met? What was the experience was like?
Shaw: The most famous softball player I’ve ever met was Cat Osterman. She’s an Olympic player so she’s a big inspiration. We had watched a USA game and we got to talk to her and have her sign some stuff afterwards and she proves that literally anything can be possible if you want it to.
Q: What are your plans for after college? Will you continue playing your sport? What do you plan on studying?
Shaw: I plan on having four years at Louisiana College where I’m committed to play now and studying Business, and possibly working at a degree in Physical Therapy. I won’t be playing after college except for fun. It could also pull me back to be a coach but as of right now I don’t plan on that. After college I hope to be able to open a Physical Therapy business because I want to stay around helping people in ways that can make them able to be healthy and active. I’m confident Louisiana is a great fit for me the next four years to get things done.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10-15 years?
Shaw: I would hope to be settled and hopefully have a family and kids that I can introduce softball to and be involved in it. Softball isn’t something I want to disappear from my life. I hope to be stable with a business in 10-15 years and have my family near my mom and dad. My family now is what keeps me focused and on the right track. We’re a small tribe but when I have my own family I want us to be near my parents. I hope I can be strong and influential to my kids the way my parents are for me and support me in what I do. I picture us to be the family with a softball/baseball field in the backyard, church every Sunday, and eating dinner together every night. That’s just what I hope.