Junior softball player catches full ride


Deshun Taylor

Junior Emma Raye poses for a photo. Raye was offered a full ride D1 scholarship to UW-Madison in her junior year.

By Aiden Golat, Reporter

Not just any high school athlete gets the opportunity to play D1 sports, let alone with a full ride scholarship. However, junior Emma Raye pulled it off. Raye committed to UW-Madison to play softball her junior year, Dec. 3. She will start her freshman year in 2023, with a full ride.

UW-Madison wasn’t the only school to offer her a scholarship, though. She also got offers from the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University and the University of North Dakota. Many other schools also showed interest, but she ended up sticking with UW-Madison.

“I picked Madison because I just love the atmosphere, it’s super fun. Plus, it’s a college town and the excitement caught my attention. Also the softball team was really like a family so I felt like I wouldn’t be homesick there,” Raye said.

Raye plays catcher and shortstop. She hopes to have a starting position sometime her freshman year.

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to be a utility player, so I’ll be able to play any position. I think catcher is what I’m best at though” Raye said.

Raye also plays basketball, but says that softball has always been her passion. She started playing tee-ball when she was in kindergarten, but didn’t realize that softball was her calling until around 6th grade. One of the things that really inspired her to do softball was her family.

“I pretty much grew up around it. My brother played baseball growing up so I was always at the baseball field. And so I just wanted to be like my brother. My parents also played growing up so I was always around it,” Raye said.

Her basketball and softball coaches say that they aren’t surprised she was able to get a D1 scholarship as she has always been an exceptional athlete with an astounding work ethic.

“She’s a fun-loving, athletic person who wants to be the best at everything she does,” basketball coach David Kontney said.

As for support, she has a lot from her family, friends and coaches. Softball coach Mike Sather had many words of encouragement for Raye.

“There’s going to be ups and downs. So be patient and above all never give up. Stay with it until the end, until you graduate with a college degree,” Sather said.

Although life as a student isn’t always easy, it’s stories like Raye’s that motivate everybody to work hard and strive to be the best at everything they do.