Clovis varsity softball head coach announced

 

June 28, 2020

Courtesy photo

Braelyn Kruelskie was announced Thursday as the new Clovis varsity softball head coach.

CLOVIS - Braelyn Kruelskie loved lots of sports growing up in Oklahoma.

"Volleyball, basketball, tennis, a little gymnastics," she said. "It always came back to softball."

Ah, her true sports love. She loved playing it, loves coaching it, and is getting a chance to do the latter at Clovis High School. This past Thursday, Kruelskie was announced as the Lady Wildcats' new varsity softball head coach, replacing Emery Sierra.

"I am really excited," Kruelskie said. "I think we've got a good season ahead of us."

That season is actually way ahead for the Lady 'Cats, as in March 2021, which gives Kruelskie a chance to settle in at Clovis High. Just this past Friday she was hired as a physics teacher there.

As far as coaching, Kruelskie could be a nice fit.

"Her experience was pretty impressive," Clovis High Athletic Director Lonnie Baca said. "Also I think she has a lot of charisma; I think the girls are really going to connect with her. ... The girls are really receptive to her style of coaching, and I think philosophically she has a good idea of what she wants to accomplish."


Kruelskie had been a Clovis softball assistant coach since 2019, her first season coaching at the high school level, though she had coached club ball and had given pitching lessons for several years.

The Lady Wildcats were a few games into the 2020 season, looking forward to their home opener, when COVID-19 put the kibosh on sports in the second week of March.

"It was definitely devastating," Kruelskie said. "We worked really hard. ... I think we were going to go far; it unfortunately got cut short. So I think the girls are definitely excited to get back out there."

Practices, with restrictions, have been allowed since the week of June 15.

"We use the Remind app with the school," Kruelskie said, "and we've actually started conditioning practice already, just about an hour in the morning while following the COVID regulations. ... Take them out there and let them get back to feeling like a team again. So I think that's really helped."

Kruelskie was born in Mesa, Oklahoma, raised in Tulsa. She began playing softball at the ripe old age of 3.

"I don't remember much when I was 3," she said, "but my dad said I had an arm by then."

Kruelskie attended Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma, on a softball scholarship, and after two years there she joined the Air Force, working as a weather forecaster.

"That's when I met my husband; he's a weather forecaster in the Air Force as well," Kruelskie said. "His job took us to a lot of places, and we ended up here in Clovis. And we really like it here."

After leaving the Air Force, Kruelskie finished college, graduating from American Military University with a psychology degree. She is currently working toward adding a Natural Sciences degree to her credentials while preparing to teach for Clovis High. She and her husband Sean are the parents of children Logan and Aedan.


Kruelskie already knows how she will coach the Lady Wildcats.

"I try and bring a kind of democratic approach with the girls," she said, "let them give me some ideas about what they would like to work on and mix it with what I think we need to work on, and let it come together. I think it really pushes us to be our best."

 
 

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