Whelan Looks Back on Her Softball Success in Millis

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
August, 2019
Article Body: 

Millis’s Cheyenne Whelan has been playing softball as long as she can remember. In fact, she originally began with whiffle ball before eventually joining the Millis Youth Softball Program. Softball was a big part of her life and was something that she wanted to do as much as she could, so she began playing club softball during the off-season. Whelan played for the U12 Central Mass Thunder, the U14 and U18 Metro West Thunder.
With her high school career on the softball diamond now complete and college fast approaching, Whelan is hoping that her athletic career will continue. Whelan is headed to James Madison University in Harrisburg, Virginia where she is hoping to play softball for the Division 1 school. The Dukes went 20-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association to capture the title and were 51-10 overall this past season.
“I’m contemplating on trying out for the team, but I’m not sure if I’d be able to commit to playing softball and continue studying academically,” the Millis athlete said. “I’ll probably try out for the team to see if I can make it, but most likely I think I’ll be playing club or intramural softball.”
Although playing in the collegiate level is still up in the air, Whelan has enjoyed her softball career while at Millis. In the beginning, she found herself behind the plate and by the time she got to the high school, she was switched to the outfield for a brief period of time.
“For my club teams, I was playing the outfield and was comfortable with the position so the switch to it in high school was no problem for me,” she said. “But then about half way through my freshman season, our senior shortstop got hurt and the coach moved me there, and that’s where I played the last 3 ½ seasons for Millis.”
Making the move to shortstop, Whelan found a bit nerve racking at first, as she had never played the infield prior to Coach RJ Maturo moving her there.
“There is a lot that goes into playing that position, like you need to know what side of the base to go to depending on where the ball is hit, but you get used to it. By the end of that year, I was very comfortable playing the position.”
The Mohawks Coach never had any doubt in his mind that the then freshman would pick up the position.
“She’s a smart kid with great athletic instincts and knows the game,” Maturo said. “She started off already having solid softball skills as a freshman and then she worked on the intangibles and improved upon the little things to become the softball player she is today.”
As a four-year starter, three and a half of those at shortstop, the Millis native came to love the position.
“I did love playing catcher when I was playing it, but I haven’t played there in such a long time,” Whelan said. “Shortstop became my top position as I feel that I’m better suited there and really enjoy the action; there is so much more action at shortstop than in the outfield.”
Although Maturo believes that no matter where Whelan is playing she is at the top of her game, but he finds her ability at the infield position tome more enjoyable.
“When she is on her game, she is fun to watch,” he said. “You never know what she’s going to do, long throws from the hole, turning double plays, whatever it is.”
At the plate, Whelan has always been a big hitter for the Mohawks hitting in the third or fourth slot in the lineup for Maturo.
With a month left before she departs to head south to college Whelan looks back upon her career with Millis and only hopes that she can take that with her to the James Madison softball team.