Makenna Weir: Sophomore season a lesson in overcoming adversity

  • Written by Derek Johnson

A couple years back, Makenna Weir emerged from Woodinville like a roaring tornado. She’d been a star on the 2012 Falcons team that won the State title. After graduation, she arrived at Boise State University with a nothing-to-lose mindset. As a freshman in 2013, she started 48 games at five different positions, hitting .296 with four home runs and 31 RBIs.

She loved Boise and couldn’t wait for her sophomore season. And then something curious happened. People began peppering her with questions: “Hey Makenna, that was a great season! Can you do better this year? Hey Mak, what do you have in store for us this year?”

Weir Makenna 2014 Action vs Indiana March 7 3Boise State's Makenna Weir throws to first base in a game vs. Indiana. (Photo courtesy of Boise State University)Weir suddenly felt the need to lead and produce more. When she began to press, she limped through the ’14campaign with just 13 RBIs and an anemic batting average of .159.

“It was one of the roughest seasons to date I’ve had playing softball,” Weir said. “I bottled it up and tried to internally solve my problems.”

Failure on the diamond was a foreign concept for Makenna. Having grown up with her father Jim (former minor leaguer and softball coach) and older sister Dani (current WHS coach), the game was in her blood.

“I basically grew up at Woodinville Complex,” Weir said. “As a little kid, I spent every day of every summer there — with sunflower seeds, Slurpees and Big League Chew. Just spending days there digging in the dirt and watching Dani play ball — and waiting for the day that I could play.”

When Makenna began to play, her passion grew with the abandon of blackberry vines basking in hot summer sun. Many years followed of Little League games, all star games, and playing catch with her dad and sisters Dani and Amanda.
Those years culminated in her senior season at Woodinville, with that 2012 team that went 26-0 and won the State championship. “What set that team apart was team chemistry,” Weir said. “It was such a selfless group. A team full of ballers, and a team full of girls willing to do whatever possible to get the win. Practices were so much fun, I never dreaded a day of going to practice.”

That’s what made her college sophomore slump so interesting. For the first time in her young life, she faced serious adversity.

“Here I’ve played softball my whole life and never felt uncomfortable at the plate,” she said. “I was trying to make adjustments and reading a lot into the mental side of the game. ‘What’s wrong with me? How do I get out of this funk?’ I tried to handle it internally. I didn’t like to talk about it.

“The softball field has always been my sanctuary,” she said. “Problems with friends, problems with boyfriends, problems with parents, anything, it was the softball field that I went to for sanctuary. And having that place become a discomfort felt weird.”

But toward the end of last season, Weir opened up to the Boise coaching staff. She felt like a weight was lifted from her shoulders. Her liberated bat suddenly stirred to life. She began making more solid contact, and whacked some sharp base hits.

Playing in the Mountain West Conference, her Boise team entered the season’s final weekend in first place. But after being swept three games by San Diego State, the Lady Broncos finished in fourth.

Once the season ended, Weir hustled back to Woodinville to help her sister Dani coach the Lady Falcons into their post season and an eventual fifth place finish at State.

“Being able to coach at Dani’s side was a blast,” Weir said. “My sister and I are so much alike in our love for the game. To watch her work and do her thing, and chip in when I could, was great. I tried to inspire the girls and teach them things that I had learned.”

As for looking to the future, Makenna finds solace in her favorite expression, one she learned from her sister Dani: “Do what you love, love what you do, God is good.”

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