Adrienne Przybyla wanted the chance to play softball during her time at Penn State-Wilkes-Barre.
The Wyoming Area graduate had that wish fulfilled during a two-game restart of a program that had been missing from the campus in Lehman Township for more than three decades.
Przybyla is headed off to Penn State’s main campus in University Park, but the program she helped relaunch will continue thanks to a commitment from the university and her own father.
Penn State-Wilkes-Barre athletic director Scott Miner confirmed this week that Barry Przybyla has been hired as head coach for a team that will play an 18-game schedule in 2017, 16 games as a member of the Pennsylvania State Universities Athletic Conference and two against Luzerne County Community College. It was Luzerne CCC that served as opponent for the April doubleheader that wound up being the team’s only action of 2016.
“We got started kind of late,” said Barry Przybyla, a former Wyoming Area head softball coach and assistant baseball coach. “We tried calling around to other schools, but they already had their schedules.
“We had two games with Penn State-Worthington Scranton, but they were canceled. We finally did play two with LCCC.”
That the university played any games at all can be traced back to Adrienne Przybyla.
When she went to Miner asking about the possibility of having a team, saying there were enough women on campus who had played in high school and were interested, he encouraged her to put together a list of interested players.
Using Facebook and other networking, she found up to 16 with some interest.
When schedules were compared and the brief season was put together, ultimately 10 players were responsible for bringing the program back.
Miner said original thoughts of testing the idea on a club level were replaced by going to a short season as a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.
“We hit a little bit of a snag with doing it as a club team,” Miner said. “So, we went to some people at University Park and ran it through them for this year and we were able to actually have it and register it with the USCAA as a varsity sport for this year, just with a limited schedule.”
Luzerne CCC won the April doubleheader 13-4, 5-4.
Morgan Williaman had a home run, double and three RBI to lead Penn State/Wilkes-Barre in the first game. Adrienne Przybyla had three hits and Samantha Corsello added two.
Przybyla and Corsello were each 2-for-3 with an RBI in the second game and Williaman had two hits.
Coach Przybyla said the team practiced on the college’s soccer field and with a hitting net inside the gym. It was able to use Lake-Lehman’s field at times, when the high school team was not there.
The coach is looking forward to the chance to prepare for a full season as a team and to seek out more incoming players with which to build the program in the future.
“By the time we found out in the season that we were going to be a varsity sport, it was tough for me to recruit people because they had already committed to colleges,” Przybyla said.
Miner said plans are in place to add an assistant coach to work with Przybyla.