Growing up with a softball legend
The ConVal baseball team beat John Stark 7-0 in the first round of the NHIAA DII playoffs on Thursday. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
As the not-famous brother of ConVal softball ace Courtney Fisher, nobody has a better sense of what it was like to grow up with — yes, there is no question — the greatest pitcher in ConVal softball history.
Courtney grew up as the youngest of three, but more importantly, she was the only daughter. Once my brother Kyle and I were of age to participate in physical activity, our parents’ lives immediately became consumed with traveling to and from different sporting events. My brother and I spent our youth playing soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, and golf. Courtney, born four years after Kyle and five after me, was forced to chose which one of our games she wanted to attend on a daily basis.
After six or seven years of being dragged around the East coast like some sort of professional spectator, Courtney decided it was time to repay Kyle and I for all of the games she had watched us play; so, she took up gymnastics.
Now, I will admit that because Kyle and I were still actively participating in sports of our own, we were not forced to watch nearly as many gymnastics meets as Courtney watched games; but I like to think the meets we did attend were full of enough cheering girls and smells of dirty feet to make up the difference.
By year three of Courtney’s gymnastics career, Kyle and I could hum the music to her floor routine on command. Luckily for both of us, once Courtney picked up a softball, the smell of dirty gymnast feet seemed to make her lose interest in gymnastics. Deep down I know that was not the real reason; you see, Courtney was an okay gymnast, but from her very first pitching lesson at Power Series, she displayed rare power and command for a girl her size — something she was well aware would separate her from her brothers.
Kyle and I thought it was neat to have a younger sister who enjoyed playing sports. We would take the time to play catch or practice batting with her in the yard. Little did we know she was using our sibling bonding sessions to improve her game to a level which neither Kyle or I would attain.
As Kyle and I entered the wide world of high school sports, Courtney traveled New England playing AAU softball. Kyle and I held our own during our ConVal careers; Kyle was a three time all-state baseball player and I was a three time all-state runner, winning two state titles.
Courtney was licking her chops, waiting for her chance to outshine her older brothers at the high school level. After all the years of traveling to watch us play and succeed, she knew that with her big brothers off at college, it was her time to shine.
From her freshman year, Courtney had a greater impact on the ConVal softball team than Kyle or I ever had on our respective teams. Courtney took off from there, gaining momentum and putting a bow on her unbelievable high school softball career this June. You have all heard about her stats, if not read the feature story on her right next to this column; her legacy speaks for itself.
I’d like to say that Kyle and I deserve credit for shaping Courtney into the athlete she is today, but, truth is, her hatred towards losing and dedication to perfecting her craft, two skills she learned on her own, are the real keys to her success.
No longer playing catchup to her older brothers, Courtney has blazed her own trail, and her journey has made her the strongest of the Fisher kids.