Holy Cross Standout Shortstop Wants to Give Back

By Steve Svetovich

Holy Cross Lady Crusaders shortstop Carly Wywoda has excelled on the baseball diamond for a long time.

And eventually, when the time comes, she wants to give back.

As a freshman, she hit five homers for the Lady Crusaders. There was no softball season due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Carly’s sophomore year, but she came back to hit nine homers and then hit over .600 in her junior year.

This season, Carly has one homer and is batting .474 at press time.

Daughter of Pete and Georgeann Wywoda, the senior standout was named first team all-state, first-team All Regional and was a Lackawanna League Division III first-team all-star selection last season.

Carly has a highly impressive 4.18 academic average at Holy Cross. Her best subject is math.

She is a member of Student Council and the National Honor Society.

Well-spoken and polite, Carly talked about what it takes to excel as a shortstop in high school softball. “Well, for one thing,” she said, “it takes a great second baseman. I have that in Priscilla Grill. That is 100 percent, Priscilla. I can always rely on her and know where she is going to be. She has also been my best friend for a long time, so we work together extremely well. You also need a lot of mobility and you need to be a leader to play shortstop.”

Carly will attend Mansfield University where she will play softball and study math secondary education next year. Carly will attend Mansfield on both academic and athletic scholarships.

“I want to become a math teacher on the high school level,” she said. “I also want to get into coaching high school softball. I want to give back and teach kids what coaches taught me.”

The senior scholar-athlete said she enjoys listening to country music and has seen Kenny Chesney in concert twice.

She talked about lessons learned from Holy Cross veteran softball coach Joe Ross. “He always teaches us that no matter what happens on the softball field, it is all about the team. It is more about the team than the individual. You need to always be there for your teammates.”

The talented shortstop said her parents also taught her a lot. “My parents teach me to respect everyone, including kids, adults, senior citizens, teachers, school, and coaches. They tell me to show respect with everything I do. And always work towards a goal.”

Carly said she is looking forward to becoming a teacher and coach someday. “I want to inspire kids as a coach, just as my coaches inspired me. And I want to inspire my students in the classroom to be the best they can be.

“I want to be a secondary education teacher, but most of all would like to be a safe spot for kids to come to. I want students to be able to come to me with any issue or problem and feel safe about it.”

The articulate senior said she is looking forward to the rest of the Holy Cross softball season. “We started the season with a 4-2 record, so we are looking to play our remaining games at a very competitive level. We want to come out swinging and confident. We need to play well as a team and be aggressive.”

Carly said her experience at Holy Cross High School has been the best. “I made the best choice ever coming here,” she said. “The academics and softball here are the best. I would have no better opportunity. And I have made so many friends. The opportunities here are so great.”

Athlete of the Month: Carly Wywoda

By Steve Svetovich

Carly goes Yardy.

That was the case when Holy Cross junior shortstop Carly Wywoda came to bat in the bottom of the eighth of a 7-7 game against the Dunmore Lady Bucks. 

The junior stalwart fouled off the first two pitches and then slugged a deep walk off homer to left center to beat the rival Lady Bucks, 8-7, on Thursday, April 22, in a Lackawanna League Division III contest at a cold, windy Saint Anthony’s Playground, Dunmore. 

It was her second homer of the season. 

With two strikes on her, Carly said she was not looking to hit a homer but made good contact and the ball traveled. 

“I felt really happy to help my team out,” she said. “But I have to admit, it felt really good inside.”

Daughter of Georgann and Pete Wywoda, Carly at press time has three homers and is hitting a robust .520.

She has been a key member of the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders softball team since her freshman year when she hit .368 with five homers.

Carly, 17, has an impressive 3.89 academic average at Holy Cross. Her favorite subject is Spanish.

Carly said she would like to have a dual major in Education and Spanish in college and “definitely” wants to continue her softball career. Carly is unsure where she will attend college.

Joe Ross is her softball coach at Holy Cross. “He teaches me to always keep my head up and keep fighting. Never give up. Even when you make an error or an out, keep your head up.”

The slick fielding, hard hitting shortstop said her parents are a big influence. “My parents teach me to respect everything I have, including the game, people, coaches, teammates. They tell me to never give up on anything.”

Carly is a member of the Foreign Languages Club and Service Club at Holy Cross. She is a member of the National Honor Society. She is a huge fan of Kenny Chesney who she saw in concert and would like to see again.

At press time her team only had two losses. “We do not let up,” she said. “We just keep fighting.”

She talked about what it takes to be a good shortstop in high school softball. 

“You need to have a good attitude and show leadership. You can’t get down or hang your head after a missed play.”

She talked about her future goals. “I want to keep and maintain my academic strengths. I want to do well all around, both on and off the field and outside of school too. I want to learn about different cultures and never stop learning. I want to learn about all different people. I want to become a teacher and continue playing softball in college.” 

Soft spoken and articulate, Carly beamed when asked about her Holy Cross experience. “It has been absolutely amazing,” she said. “The faculty, staff and coaches always put the student first. They really care about the students and it shows. I love it here.”