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Norwood - Local Town Pages

Sam Rose: A True Team Player

By Christopher Tremblay
Ever since she picked up a softball in the second grade, Norwood’s Sam Rose has primarily been a shortstop. However, this spring in her final year with the Mustangs, the senior will be transitioning from the field where she was named the Tri-Valley league MVP last year to her new position behind the plate.


Norwood Coach Carol Savino found herself in a pickle last year knowing that the Mustangs were not going to have a catcher for the following season, so she approached Rose hoping that she’d take on the role for the good of the team.
“Knowing that we needed a catcher for upcoming season I knew that I had to do it for the team so that we could set a strong foundations for the future,” the senior said. “I can’t recall the last time I played the position, probably in second grade when they move you all over the place to find the best fit, but I am willing to give up my shortstop position to help the team out.”
Giving up a position where you are coming off the best year of your high school career is nothing short of being a team player and Coach Savino is very thankful she has a player in Rose that is willing to do just that. During her MVP season, the Norwood shortstop batted .614 with 43 hits, and 22 RBI, in addition to stealing 38 bases in 40 attempts. In the field, she recorded an .882 fielding percentage.
“Sam has been a varsity starter since her sophomore year as we didn’t have a season her freshman year due to Covid,” Savino said. “Coming into this year, she knew at we didn’t have a catcher and took it upon herself to work real hard during the off-season to be ready for the start of the year. To take on the catching duties shows that she is a real team player and will sacrifice her position for the best of the team shows the type of individual that she is.”
According to the Norwood Coach, Rose went the extra mile for the good of the team and by her taking catching lessons to learn the position only shows that she has the personality of a leader.  Having played on the Mass Drifters travel team since the eighth grade, Rose has been able to grow her talent in hopes of playing on the next level. During the Drifters past season, the senior was able to get behind the plate on a few occasions to get prepared for what she is up against this spring.
“She has the skills and the mechanics to move behind the plate, she just need to learn how to call the game,” the Norwood coach said. “She understands the game and is talented enough to be able to handle it. She’s very quick back there.”
Having tried a lot of different sports (soccer, step dancing, gymnastics, ice hockey and lacrosse) in addition to softball, Rose eventually came to the conclusion that being on the diamond was the place best suited for her talents.
“Softball became my sport; I love it as it was team sport but also had an individual aspect  to it as well,” Rose said. “I began playing softball with the town rec league, and in the sixth grade joined my first club team (Brand New Ball Game), and two years later moved over to the Mass Drifters.”
The now Norwood catcher played shortstop prior to the move this spring. She found that the more she played the position the more she like it. Being the focal point of the action in the field was thrilling to her, as is being a catcher in charge of everything on the field.
Although she has thoroughly enjoyed her time with the Mustangs, losing that first year was heart breaking.
“I was pretty disappointed to have no season because of Covid,” Rose said. “I was so excited and ready for tryouts, but was really upset when everything went down. Originally I thought that sophomore year was going to be really hard not having a high school season the year before, but luckily I did get to play some club ball that summer. 
Last spring, Norwood took out Wilmington in the first round of the Division 2 State Tournament, but was then sent home losing to neighboring Walpole. Rose and her teammates would like to avenge that loss and get the team deeper into the tournament this year.
“As a captain this year, I am just hoping that I can get the girls to connect and keep the younger kids focused on the task at hand,” Rose said. “I want to go out and do my job while winning and hopefully get back to the tournament and make a run.”
Being behind the plate does not intimidate Rose whatsoever as she’ll be catching close friend Athena Alexopoulous, who will be firing the ball to her from the circle. 
“Being that I am close to Athena will help me behind the plate,” Rose said. “We’ll work together and do what is best for the team, I am not worried about it, it’s just something that I’ll have to get use to; playing behind the hitters instead of watching them from the field.”
It really doesn’t matter what position Rose is playing, she is just hoping to help get the Mustangs back into the tournament where they can make some noise.