By Payton Moody
VYPE: How did it feel to be on three softball state championship teams?
Taitum Bradshaw: Just winning state one time is such a high achievement but to win 3 times is an absolute blessing.
VYPE: What preparation did you (or the team) take in order to be successful?
TB: To win state, it’s not only about putting in the time on the field. A big part of it is the bond you can build off the field with your teammates. We would always do some type of team bonding to bring us closer and make us want to play our best for each other, not for ourselves.
VYPE: What preparation and training were key in your success?
TB: The key is being able to have faith in your team. If one person can’t pull their weight, someone will step up and pull it for them.
VYPE: What has your sport taught you that you use in your daily life?
TB: Softball has taught me that failure is such a common factor in our everyday lives. You have to learn to fail and be able to bounce back from it.
VYPE: Why are you passionate about your sport?
TB: I am passionate about softball because I have always been around it and it has given me a sense of comfort. It helps me feel safe whenever I need an escape from reality.
VYPE: Who inspires you and why?
TB: Sydney Sherrill has always been someone I looked up to and wanted to be like. Sydney was number 22 for Southmoore, so I wanted to be number 22 for Southmoore. When she was in high school, I would go to my sister’s game to only watch Sydney play. Something about watching her play is just gravitating. You can tell she is just as energetic off the field as much as she is on.
VYPE: What has been your favorite memory in your sport?
TB: Winning a state title for the second time had the most meaning behind it to me. The second title just proved to everyone that us winning wasn’t a fluke and that we deserved it.
VYPE: What is the best advice anyone has given you?
TB: The best advice I have ever received was from Coach Lingo during our state tournament when I was freaking out because of all the people. Lingo told me “No matter if all these people are here or not, you are still playing the same game you’ve been playing your whole life. Take a deep breath and just go and play like you play.” By Lingo telling me this, it just made all the background noise go away. It was just me playing the game I love just in front if a few more people than I was used to.
VYPE: Here is your chance to give a shout out or say anything to anyone you wish!
TB: Entering school ball, I would not have thought these coaches could care about us so much on and off the field. The time and work they willingly put in to make you the best player and person you can possibly be has no limit. Thank you to Big Lingo, Little Lingo and Coach Tompkins for preparing me for the real world.