Northern Star: Gabby Gidley
For this week's segment, we feature the senior catcher on the Wisconsin-Superior softball team who's thankful she made the choice to play in her hometown.
SUPERIOR, Wis. – Senior catcher Gabby Gidley has been a key part in turning the Yellowjackets season around, leading the team to a perfect 8-0 home record in front of her hometown.
“I have people that I don’t even know personally on a personal level come up and talk to me about my successes or they’ll say ‘Oh I’ve watched you since you were growing up’ and that’s really cool,” Gidley said.
Gidley is a Superior native, grew up playing for the Spartans and knew there was no where else that she wanted to play college softball.
“I had a couple of different colleges offer me things and I just love it here, I love this town and I’d do anything I can to help support this town. So I decided that I wanted to stay here, watch my family grow, watch my old teammates grow. I get to have my high school coaches come to games and watch me,” Gidley said.
“It’s cool and very unique that she gets to do this in her hometown. Every game there’s always a group of fans that I can tell are here to watch her play so that’s pretty special,” interim head softball coach and UWS Director of Athletics Nick Bursik said.
Gidley’s love for Superior doesn’t stop at the softball field. Gidley became involved in RivALZ Twin Ports, a flag football game that raises funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“I did have family members with Alzheimer’s but also personal reasons too, I’ve had more than six concussions and I know that each concussion, especially as a female, increases your risk for Alzheimer’s, so it’s better to jump in and find as much research as we can toward a cure and just better the community that way. There’s so many people impacted by Alzheimer’s in our community,” Gidley said.
In their first year in the Twin Ports, RivALZ raised more than $13,000. Gidley served as a team captain and saw the importance of what that money can do in her town.
“To have an organization that actually keeps funds local and promises to help the communities, the families that are right here in our community means a lot to me because I’ve seen families or people even on my RivALZ team that were effect by Alzheimer’s, it can be a big dent in their lives,” Gidley said.
While she’s putting in the work in the community, Gidley still has goals she wants to accomplish her final few weeks as a Yellowjacket.
“Obviously we want to be conference champs, but we really want to be conference champs so that our hometown can be here to support us through the playoff tournament. I mean, that would be a phenomenal way to end my four years here,” Gidley said.
While Gidley isn’t ready to look at what’s next after she hangs up the cleats, she’s thankful for the years she spent on the Superior fields and the community that rallied behind her her entire life.
“I never actually played on this field as a Spartan, but it’s cool to actually play on this field now as a UWS Yellowjacket. There’s a lot of support from this community and I couldn’t be more grateful to be here in Superior and play one last year and play all eight years here.”