Memories of Wildcat athletics: Time spent playing at WNC a pivotal point in my life | NevadaAppeal.com

Memories of Wildcat athletics: Time spent playing at WNC a pivotal point in my life

Cassie Vondrak

Editor’s Note: Throughout the rest of 2016 Western Nevada College baseball and softball seasons, which is the last for WNC athletics, the Appeal is featuring columns every Sunday from those who are sharing their memories of the programs.

If someone was to ask me what has been a pivotal point in my life so far, it would be I was given the opportunity to play at WNC for Leah Wentworth and the rest of her staff.

After falling through the cracks of the recruiting process, I was entering into my senior year with no “home” to play college softball. With the thought in the back of my head my childhood dream may not come true, one phone call changed everything. I was offered to play for WNC and I immediately accepted. It was soon to be one of the best decisions I could have made.

Now I’m not saying it was always good times, there were extremely difficult moments, which is true for every college athlete. But with that, it prepared me for life in ways I couldn’t have expected. With the challenges we faced as a team, it only made us grow closers as a unit. The bond we shared through those good times and bad were what I thank WNC for the most. I wouldn’t have wanted to share an experience like that with any other group.

Of course, my two years flew by in ways I didn’t think were possible. It was time for me to find a new home. I was fortunate enough, with the help of the coaching staff, to be picked up by Long Island University and finish my college career in New York. I never would have thought I would visit NY, let alone be living there and go to school. While there, I competed against the toughest D1 teams in the nation, and beat them.

At WNC, we were always taught we were student-athletes, where student comes first always. This stayed true to me, as I finished my master’s while finishing my college softball career. After graduation, I couldn’t imagine giving up something that made such a huge impact on my life. With that, I decided I wanted to make an impact on young people’s lives, just like it happened for me. I started coaching college softball at New York University and strived to make a positive impact on people every day. After being there for almost two years, another opportunity came. I’m now the assistant coach at Columbia University in New York City. It has been a dream come true.

I would not be where I am today without the help and support of my family, WNC, Leah Wentworth and the rest of her amazing staff and family. I would like to thank you all, for you are the reason for my success. You saw something in me no one else did, and for that I’m forever grateful. My hope is the past student-athletes at WNC are as grateful as I am, and will forever hold the amazing memories we all shared together during our times.