[Editor’s note: “Take Five” is a recurring feature designed to offer a quick look at some of Oregon’s most interesting high school sports standouts. This spring, Take Five will focus exclusively on seniors, whose final high school seasons have been canceled by the coronavirus. Today, we go get it with Westview senior outfielder Maddie Curaming. Curaming was an All-State performer as a junior and has committed to playing next spring for Lower Columbia College. We asked Curaming to answer five questions from the 25 we sent to her. Her very descriptive and entertaining responses follow …]
OSAAtoday: What kind of coach gets the best out of you as a player?
Maddie Curaming: Having a coach that really gets to know the player as a person and as a player. It’s easy for a coach to just tell their players what to do and leave it at that. But luckily, through the years, I’ve had coaches I could sit down and have a conversation with outside of softball and the conversation could be literally about anything. Also, cracking jokes on and off the field is crucial. We spend a lot of time with our coaches, good and bad. Having a coach I could do these things with makes me want to play to my best ability for them, my team, and myself. Coaches set the tone on how their team will play. We are definitely goofy at times, but when it’s game time, it’s go time, baby.
OSAAtoday: What was your first big success as an athlete and how did it impact you?
Curaming: My first big success wasn’t something I achieved on the field. I had to overcome my bad attitude. Everyone at one point will go through a phase where the last place they want to be is at practice and instead of “faking it ‘til you make it” you kind of just go through the motions at your own pace, not caring about getting better for you or your team. I had to overcome that. One day, everything just clicked. I finally realized that feeling bad for myself will get me literally nowhere. Picking out all the negatives in every situation became exhausting; so finally I just let myself have fun. And it was absolutely one of the best things that has happened to me. I had so much fun on the field and played the best season of ball I’ve ever played. Attitude really makes a difference on your performance. Positives will always outweigh the negatives as long as you let them!
OSAAtoday: What’s your favorite class in school and why?
Curaming: My favorite class in school is Child Development. We work with the preschool class that my school offers. Right now I’m considering becoming a teacher and teaching kindergarteners or a Pre-K class. This class has taught me a lot. I’ve learned many different ways to help guide kids into the right direction. I’ve watched kids who didn’t know how to write their name learn to write their name. That’s a milestone we’ve helped kids achieve.
OSAAtoday: What’s the funniest moment you remember from your childhood?
Curaming: I don’t really remember much from my childhood but one event that sticks with me is when I was 6 or 7, I tried to do pull ups. Not on an actual pull up bar like a normal person but on the towel rack in my bathroom. It was just me and my siblings at home while I was pumping out those pull ups. On my third or fourth rep, my feet hit the ground with the bar still in my hands, completely off the wall. In shock, I screamed so loud my brother came rushing into the bathroom just to see me crying in the bathroom, frozen, with the rack in my hands. He assured me that it’s okay and just screwed the rack back into place. We never told my mom until a couple years ago...she had a good laugh.
OSAAtoday: What is the single funniest thing you’ve ever seen in softball?
Curaming: One memory that will stick with me forever is when my coach Ronda [McKenzie] found a dead frog in the toe part of her shoe. I was hitting off a tee when I heard her scream. I looked up and she was walking out of the room with a dead frog on the tip of a pencil. She explained to us that the other day she found some stain on her sock and she didn’t really think of it but realized it was a squashed frog in her shoe. Funniest part to me was when she was waving around this dead frog on the tip of this pencil.
Read other Take Five articles published in connection with the 2020 spring season: