By Paul Downer
By Paul Downer
A stellar softball career for Central senior Afton Wolter concluded with a significant honor on Sunday, June 10 when Wolter participated in the 24th annual Minnesota High School All-Star Girls Softball Series at Caswell Park in North Mankato.
Wolter, a shortstop, has been a fixture in the Raiders lineup for four years since stepping into the lineup as a freshman and leading the team in terms of batting average.
"Afton came up and surprised us that year," said Raiders head coach Jon Lambrecht. "She had a phenomenal career and put up numbers consistently."
After her breakout 9th grade season, Wolter was badly injured when struck in the face by a line drive while pitching and missed most of her sophomore year. She returned as a junior without missing a beat, however, and batted .563 as a senior this season.
Lambrecht said that to his knowledge, no softball player from NYA has ever been selected to play in the All-Star Series.
"For her to represent this team, this community, this program, I think is a huge honor," he said. "I can’t think of a kid who deserves it more. Her hard work and dedication, I’m really impressed as a coach and as a fan of the game. I hope people appreciate the importance of this. To be honored by her peers and to get a chance to play with the state’s best seniors, that’s pretty cool."
Wolter will play on Team Ice. In all, there are six teams made up of 72 players chosen from over 6,000 softball players in the state.
Minnesota Sports Federation, which co-sponsors the tournament along with the Minnesota High School Fastpitch Coaches Association, said that "the all-stars are selected by the Minnesota High School Coaches Fastpitch Association to represent all graduating seniors and are recognized as Minnesota’s premier softball players."
The event included a Hall of Fame Banquet, opening ceremonies, nine games, and closing ceremonies. According to Lambrecht, all of the honors were well-deserved.
"She’s not a very vocal leader, that’s not her style. But as far as decisions, as far as the way a girl carries herself, as far as the way she is as a person, leader by example kind of defines it," he said.