At the start of the 2021-22 school year, Parkside Athletics announced the Student Fan Rewards Program as a way to incentivize student participation at any Rangers’ home events.
Each game or event would have a certain point level assigned to it and when students arrived and signed in, they’d collect points to earn prizes provided by Parkside Athletics and our sponsors. As we wrapped up our year at the 2022 Ranger Awards, we recognized the student who earned almost 300 points more than her peers, making Emmee Ball not only the Student Fan of the Year, but also the Kenosha.com Ranger of the Week.
Emmee Ball is a sophomore infielder for the Parkside softball team from Kennewick, Wash. Although this program isn’t specifically for athletes, Emmee wanted to create a better environment and an overall good time at the events by cheering on her friends and peers.
“I’m super grateful for being recognized for going out to support my teammates and peers at their games and events,” she said.
Ball also mentioned that it helped to put pressure on other teams. After an injury limited her performance this year, her school pride was able to take the stage for not only her team, but for all the Rangers.
Now you might be thinking, Ball is from Washington, so why did she pick Parkside? She knew that she wanted to travel away from her hometown because of three reasons: her major, her love for meeting new people and softball.
Ball, an education major, hopes to teach history in high school when she graduates in 2.5 years. Her love for meeting new people and getting to continue to play softball was a deciding factor in why she picked playing for the Rangers.
“The friendships I’ve made here mean the world to me,” she said. “Since I’m so far away from my hometown, the friends I’ve made in Wisconsin are my family out here.”
A love for softball
Ball started playing in fifth grade but had always played sports as she started playing basketball as a kindergartener. When she was older, she decided she loved softball because it was a very individualized sport, but it always related to the team goals. To help your team in softball, you have to perform well individually which is what Emmee really enjoys. Another reason she chose softball is, as Emmee puts it, “Who doesn’t love to crush a ball?”
In high school, Ball had always attended sporting events for other teams which is where her love grew for attending live-action games. This gives her something to do after practice and studying and since it is on-campus and free to students with their Ranger Card, it’s a no-brainer. Campus pride is really important to Ball and helps create a sense of belonging and she’s made a lot of friendships simply by showing up for her peers.
Wrapping up the year
As we wrap up the 2021-22 school year, Ball was awarded the Student Fan of the Year Award at the 2022 Ranger Awards. Part of the prize for this award included being the Kenosha.com Ranger of the Week along with Ranger Cash and a gift card to Golden Oil Company.
Emmee said jokingly, “With 545 points, I really need some competition next year from my teammates and peers!”
She also wanted to give a shoutout to her support system back home and say thanks to her mom for letting her experience this journey in here in Wisconsin.
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