The weeks following the holiday season are usually some of the most boring and uneventful of the year.
For Fitch softball player Alana Callahan nothing can be further from the truth. Callahan has been selected to represent our country as part of the North American Select Team and will participate in a tournament next week. Making that selection even sweeter is that the tournament takes place in Rotterdam, The Nethalands. Callahan will leave on Jan. 11 and fly to Amsterdam before moving on to Rotterdam for the weeklong tournament. That January date is always special to Callahan because it is also her birthday. Most kids turning 17 would appreciate a huge blowout on their birthday, but Alana received the trip of a lifetime instead.
"I am so excited," said Callahan over the phone as she was preparing for her adventure. "I will remember this the rest of my life."
Town Crier file photo
Fitch softball player Alana Callahan has proved herself since stepping on the field in her freshmen year. This month she will have the honors of representing her country as part of the North America select team.
There are two criteria for making this traveling team one being a great athlete and the other being a great person. Callahan can check both of those traits as two she possesses.
"Alana is a perfect example of a student-athlete," said Fitch assistant softball coach Steve Ward. "This is such a great positive story for our school, our team and our community."
The junior has excelled on the softball diamond since stepping foot into Fitch. She is a two-year letter winner, bats leadoff and excels defensively whether it be in the infield or outfield (she will be an outfielder in Rotterdam). Callahan also plays summer ball for Valley Extreme Softball and has played in the prestigious Queen of Diamonds showcase at Kent State University. It was at Kent where she first caught the eye of some of the coaches for the American squad. When Alana reaches Europe some true veteran softball players will be waiting to greet her.
"Some of the girls in the tournament are in their late 20s and early 30s," said an amazed sounding Alana. "Some of them even played in the Olympics. There will be lots of pressure on me to do well."
If there is indeed tons of pressure it is almost certain that Callahan will not feel it. Being able to be a steady influence on her teammates is one thing this Falcon is fond of. She is also a leader in the classroom where Callahan carries a high enough grade point average to be inducted into the National Honor Society. In Callahan's mind, doing well with the books translates into doing well with the bat.
"Academics is so important," she stated smartly. "I can't do well on the field if I don't do well in class. It gives me balance."
Another characteristic of an American Cup athlete is that she is able to adapt and get along with other people. Callahan will have no trouble doing that because it is easy to realize after talking to her for a few minutes that she is extremely outgoing. That will help her make friends with traveling mates from all over the United States. There is a girl from Hubbard and one from Champion on the team as well so she will have at least a local area connection in common with two teammates. One person who will also be with Alana who is not actually playing softball is her mom Lisa. As part of the trip the girls will be visiting Paris where they will tour the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and go shopping. That last part has Alana and her mom overloaded with anticipation.
"I can't wait to go shopping for a prom dress," said Callahan chuckling. "I heard they are pretty cheap there."
So far the most exotic place Callahan has ever visited in her young life is Walt Disney World. Pretty sure there were no prom dresses to be found near Space Mountain.