HELENA — "Don’t wish for it, work for it,” will be the new mantra of the Carroll College Fighting Saints Softball team with the hiring of new head coach, Shawna Juarez.
Juarez, a Washington native, is no stranger to relatively new programs in Montana, serving as the inaugural head softball coach at Miles Community College, leading the Pioneers to two regional championships in 2021 and 2022.
Now, as the head coach for the Fighting Saints, Juarez says she wants to continue those winning ways and Carroll was the perfect fit for a number of reasons.
“I couldn't have thought of a more perfect fit as it's in Montana, a place I love, closer to home, and with the amount of high school club and club ball players that I know, I mean, it's just perfect," said Juarez during a phone call.
Though she’s only been on the job for a few days, Juarez says she’s hit the ground running preparing for her first season as Carroll's head softball coach.
“I'm currently compiling a schedule for fall, a competitive schedule, to have a fall season because I think that's imperative for growth," said Juarez. "So that I can get to know them as players and people and then so they can get to know me and my style .”
Juarez said she’s spoken with her players and Carroll College staff after her hiring, and knows deep down this is going to be the perfect fit for her.
“It's going to be great. The amount of texts I've already received from the players right now. Just extremely excited and hungry, really has been really reassuring," said Juarez. "It's just all is very positive right now, and I love that.”
The Fighting Saints are coming off of a season where head volleyball coach Moe Boyle stepped up to fill the role in the interim, and capped off the season with a 14-31 record overall. As the Fighting Saints shape up for the upcoming season the team's new mantra will be put to the test.
“I said, 'You need to think of something that is going to be dear and near to your heart,'" because at [Miles Community College] my thing was, 'Iron sharpens iron,'" said Juarez. "Here they decided — at Carroll, the girls decided 'Don't wish for it, work for it,' so I'm going to put them to the test on that.”