By Connie and Lynn Baer | Foothiller Footsteps
The roots of today’s Grossmont High School softball teams reach back to the 1920s.
Beginning in 1925, Grossmont girls played in countywide indoor baseball teams, winning the county championship in 1925 and 1926. In 1926, the girls played seven games against Coronado, Fallbrook, Point Loma, La Jolla, Sweetwater, Escondido, and Mountain Empire.
In the early 1950s, Foothiller girls began playing softball rather than baseball. Since 1978, and the implementation of the 1972 Title IX provisions that made funding for girls and boys school sports equal, Grossmont High School has fielded girls softball teams.
From 1986 to 2011, Grossmont teams won 12 League Championships. In 1989, softball coach Steve Sutton led his team to a league championship and Grossmont’s first Softball CIF Championship.
Today, Jerry Lerud coaches the girls. Lerud has been the Varsity Head Coach since 1995, guiding the girls to seven League Championships and 2 CIF Championships in 2011 and 2016.
“I do what I do for the love of game, love of the kids,” he said. “In my early coaching days, it was to make them the best softball players they can be. Today it’s watching them become successful in life, work, and family.”
Still, the girls team gives their coach a lot to be proud of as far as their play is concerned.
“Last year’s 2016 Girls Varsity Softball Division III CIF Championship team believed in themselves more than any other team that I’ve had,” Larud said. “If one player got down, not just one teammate picked her up, two did. That gave the team and the coaches the will to take on the challenge to go all the way to win the title.”
This year’s team has eight returning seniors out of 14 team players. Six of the eight have already committed to a college softball program for next year. With that many returning seniors, the team is basically the same as last year’s team.
Larud said that having lost only four seniors, “we have filled their cleats with equally strong players with hearts as big. So hopefully, they can repeat!”
According to an article in the March 8, 2017 San Diego Union Tribune, four Foothiller softball players to watch are:
“Destiny Bacon, INF, Senior All-San Diego Section ‘slap hitter’
Taylor Baez, OF, Senior ‘on base at .496 clip’
Chloe Camarero, 3B-Sr-‘led off with 61 base hits’
Samaria Roope, RHP-So-18-7 in leading Hillers to title”
Visit Grossmont High School and watch the girls in action on the softball field adjacent to Harry Griffin Park through May!
To learn more about Grossmont’s rich athletic history, visit us or explore our Museum website. The Museum is open noon-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 5 and by appointment.
—Connie and Lynn Baer write on behalf of the Grossmont High School Museum.