CHEYENNE – Cheyenne East softball coach Adam Galicia described Ella Neider as having “military discipline,” and is one the main reasons she has thrived on and off the diamond.
It’s also what helped the senior land an opportunity to compete at the next level. On Wednesday, Neider signed to continue her softball career with Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, North Dakota. There were a few reasons for choosing Lake Region State, Neider said.
“Ultimately I liked that Lake Region was closer and the coach and the dynamic of the team was good,” she said. “The coach was very active in recruiting … I visited there and it felt like a good fit.”
Neider will be playing catcher for the Royals, a position that she has consistently progressed at over her career, both with East and with the Cheyenne Extreme.
“I needed someone I could depend on behind the dish and that was her biggest growth last season – was getting so many reps behind the dish,” Galicia said.
One thing that made her excel behind the plate was the work she put in to get better. It’s also what helped her progress during the offseason offensively. Neider batted at a .345 average and drove in 14 runs for the Thunderbirds last season, but could provide a much bigger role from the batter’s box this year.
“Every year I’ve seen her progress and every year I’ve seen that drive in her to want to get better,” Galicia said. “The main thing I see is just having the discipline when she comes to practice. She comes to practice and she’s ready to go and ready to work.
“There’s nobody that outworks her and you see that drive in her eyes in everything she does.”
Maintaining that discipline helped establish Neider as a leader during the T-Birds’ inaugural softball season. During a season that provided a lot of different hurdles, having Neider as a main leader was invaluable to the team, Galicia said.
It’s something she’s confident she’ll carry with her to Devils Lake while she looks to develop in other aspects.
“I think I’ll be bringing my leadership skills. I feel like I’m a great leader on the team,” she said. “I could really develop in getting ready to move on to a different coaching style, different team and different level of intensity at the college level. I’m just excited to move on and I feel prepared by everyone around me for the next chapter.”
The preparation circles back to Neider’s discipline and knowing as a leader how to handle situations.
“It helps make me more focused on what the ultimate goal and not stressing much about the little things or getting off track or things like that.”
Added Galicia: “Her discipline is her biggest strength going onto the next level. (Lake Region) is getting somebody who’s just a good kid and is ready to work.”