Last summer Haley Remington set out to have the most memorable senior year possible.
She had already been averaging double figures scoring on the basketball court as a sophomore and junior, but she wanted to be the best that she could be.
So Remington put in some extra work around her busy travel schedule in travel softball. On the diamond, she was already a star, destined to play at the next level while hoping to help the Elks qualify for the WIAA state tournament for the first time ever.
“I just wanted my senior year to be something I could remember and be proud of,” Remington said. “I think maybe just wanting to be the best I could be my senior year is really what pushed me.
“I’m proud of myself and how it turned out.”
Remington will likely be remembered best for her efforts on the softball diamond. And she will continue to play on a scholarship with Division II University of Missouri-St. Louis.
But in what turned out to be her final act, because the coronavirus pandemic canceled the spring season, it was her basketball season that remains fresh on everyone’s minds. Remington was named first-team all-Southern Lakes Conference and to The Gazette’s all-area team after averaging 16.5 points and 4.1 assists per game.
As her father and softball coach, Steve, liked to say on Twitter, “Not bad for a softball player.”
Her senior season was a byproduct of putting in extra work in the offseason.
“I play club softball, so in past years, coming home from tournaments and trying to get into the gym sometimes didn’t work out,” Haley Remington said.
“This year, I made myself find a way. I remember one time I had just gotten back from Florida and we had a (summer basketball) league game. I just went home, changed, got back in the car and went to the game.
“And by doing that, I found more passion in trying to work at it and get better. I just pushed myself more.”
The Elks went 15-8 overall and 9-5 to finish fourth in the Southern Lakes. They went 1-22 during Remington’s freshman season but won 30 games the past two years combined.
Steve Remington said those kinds of team and program improvements meant more to his daughter than any individual accolades.
“Her attitude has always been team first, and I think she instills that when she practices,” Steve said. “Our motto has kind of been, if you’re not going to go hard then don’t go.
“She also really, really does not like to lose.”
The expectations were even loftier on the softball diamond.
The Elks turned heads Haley’s freshman season when they finished third in the SLC, which is well-known as an impressive softball conference. Last year, they went 11-3 in league play to capture the SLC title and earned a No. 1 seed in their WIAA Division 1 sectional. They suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Beloit Memorial in a sectional final.
Haley said an 11-1 victory at Union Grove last season still stands out in her memory bank.
“Obviously they always have a good team, so we all came ready to play that day,” she said. “It proved to us we could accomplish what we wanted, and it felt so good.”
Remington earned first-team all-SLC honors for the second straight season last year. She hit .410 and boasted a .986 fielding percentage in more than 100 chances while playing second base.
The Elks would have been state tournament contenders again this spring. And Haley was looking forward to one more season of being coached by her dad.
“Our only experience together before high school was when I did wrestling,” she said. “So at first I was kind of nervous and thought we might butt heads. We did at times, but I’m so happy he was my coach and we were able to spend those three years together. It’s been a blast.”
Now she looks forward to joining a program with standout coaches at the next level. Missouri-St. Louis head coach Amanda Scott was a four-time collegiate All-American at Fresno State and has U.S. National Team experience. And assistant coach Lauren Lappin is a former Olympian.
“When I first met Coach Scott, I loved her,” Remington said. “She was outgoing and upbeat, and it just made me finalize my decision. I’m excited to meet my teammates and be part of their college experience and to try and win another championship.”
And while the coronavirus has put a bit of a damper on Remington’s hopes for a memorable senior year, she hopes she has helped leave Elkhorn’s programs in good shape moving forward.
“Last year, the way we played gave us hope for this year,” she said. “Even though we’re not playing, it gives hope to the underclassmen. They’re super excited still, and I think the momentum we left off with last year will start back up with them next year.”