Softball seniors savor last ride

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Griffin Nelson

nelsongr@mnstate.edu

A valuable product of the devotion and dedication necessary to compete in college athletics is the relationship that blooms within the team atmosphere.

It’s safe to say seniors Megan Asham and Aunica Novacek have reaped the spoils of that team dynamic while playing softball at MSUM.

What started out as a casual friendship freshman year amidst the Dragon’s supporting cast has blossomed into a powerful companionship. The current roommates rarely leave each other’s side.

“We get along super great, we joke around, have fun,” Novacek said of her relationship with her fellow senior. “People say we act like an old married couple.”

Asham, a native of Manitoba, Canada, has even spent a few school year holidays with Novacek’s family when unable to make the trip home.

“I’ve spent the past three Easters and Thanksgivings with her family,” Asham said. “Her parents have really taken me in, since mine live in Canada and can’t come down here much. She’s an all-around awesome person and teammate.”

Head Coach Kelsey Fehl has watched Asham and Novacek grow as players and people firsthand throughout their careers. She praises their work ethic and lead-by-example approach to leadership. With that hard work put forward, Asham and Novacek have seen their opportunities multiply every year since coming to MSUM.

“They started out as role players their first years. They showed up every day and worked hard, and just really started to thrive throughout their career,” Fehl said. “Now they’re everyday players that we can’t imagine being without.”

Perhaps more impressive is the pair’s success in the classroom. Both Asham and Novacek were recognized for their outstanding academic achievement as members of the 2017 Spring NSIC All-Academic Team. With constant practice and traveling during the season, both made sure to emphasize the importance of developing time-management skills as a student athlete. 

After completing their final home game this Thursday against Northern State, a 12-1 loss to the visiting Northern State Wolves, both players took a moment to reflect on their time at MSUM. The women can’t believe how quickly it all flew by.

When asked what she’ll miss most about being part of the team, Asham considered the people she’ll be leaving behind.

“I’ll miss the community as a whole. It’s going to be weird not being a part of the athletic department, not having the same 17 people I see every day. Being able to show the core values of grit, heart, and humility every day. They did a great job installing that here, and I’ll take those values to everything I do in my life.”

Coach Fehl believes Novacek and Asham will be sorely missed.

“We’re losing two great people who are great leaders on and off the field. We’re definitely going to miss them next year,” Fehl said.

Both Novacek and Asham intend to continue on to graduate school. Though their scholarly pursuits may momentarily separate their path, neither have any doubts their friendship will remain strong for years to come.

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