With family by her side, Sidney’s Olivia DeMott has overcome injury to pursue college softball.
On Dec. 22, DeMott signed her Division III Celebratory Signing Form, officially committing to SUNY Cobleskill’s softball team.
“My father has put just as much time in as I have, because he caught while I pitched. And my brother is such a good sport, he was there every second, I mean he might not have liked it every time, but he was there. It wasn’t just one of us, it was an experience for my entire family,” DeMott said.
“It’s not just me it’s everyone around me,” she continued.
Even DeMott’s college selection process was family driven. DeMott said she became interested in Cobleskill’s program when her dad, a fisherman, began exploring the environmental science program at the school.
DeMott plans on majoring in wildlife management with a minor in journalism and said the Fighting Tigers are one of only four colleges in New York state to offer it.
“Just the environment was very down-to-earth, very personal feeling to me and I connected well with it in the sense that it’s down my alley of interest. The things that I love, everything that I want to do is right there,” DeMott said.
“It’s the place that I want to go to get hired right out of college,” she continued.
In DeMott’s sophomore year of high school she missed softball season with injuries. After overcoming a shoulder injury, which she suffered playing field hockey, she fractured her back leading to eight months of recovery and physical therapy.
“I know that lot of people get injured. A lot of people have to miss time,” DeMott said. “We all handle it differently and it just gave me a huge, not only physical, but mental, emotional, social development(al) changes. It was devastating.”
DeMott said throughout her rehab process she was able to motivate herself by learning about the recovery process and what her body needed to get healthy.
Throughout the process, her family was always by her side.
“Norm Aprile, my dad, Rob DeMott, and my brother and my mom they were just always there,” DeMott said.
Softball was always on DeMott’s radar, but it took a backseat to academics on her college search. DeMott said she prioritized finding the right fit academically before looking athletically.
“It just sparked my interest that in the past two years they really improved,” she continued.
DeMott cited a personable and relaxed coach, as well as the program’s excitement over her specific skill set, as factors that drew her to the softball program.
The Daily Star reached out to Cobleskill softball coach Liz Slupinski via email but didn’t receive a response by press time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put high school softball seasons in jeopardy. DeMott said she is hopeful there will be a softball season this spring but is grateful to be able to play at the next level if not.
“Through my entire senior year I’ve had no expectations for anything and I’ve figure out that’s the best way to go about it right now, just because expectations leads to disappointment, so I just figured ‘lets take things as they come,” DeMott said. “I am very hopeful for a season but if it doesn’t happen I’m honestly not surprised.”