WATERVILLE, Minn. (KEYC) — The Waterville Elysian Morristown girls’ athletics programs have enjoyed plenty of success in the past year.
Last summer, the softball team went to the Class A State Tournament, then in the fall, the Buccaneers’ volleyball team finished as the state runner-up. In girls’ basketball, WEM advanced to the Class A State semifinals before the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Many of the athletes on those state tournament squads play multiple sports, and the same is also true for Crystal Lamont, who coaches volleyball and softball.
“We work hard. I consider myself one of the hardest working coaches in the area, I set up all kinds of youth programs. We try to find that balance, we want the kids to be multi-sport athletes. I coach two of them, so that helps. For a while, I was only coaching one. I do try to find the balance so the girls can do all of the sports, you also have to put in the time and work hard if you want to be successful,” said Lamont.
While hard work certainly plays a part in building a winning culture, that’s not all that Lamont believes leads to positive results.
“I think the biggest reason for part of our success is building that family atmosphere. We really stress that, and we emphasize that it’s a family from our youth programs up to our varsity programs. We’re one, and we expect the older kids to look out for the younger kids and help them with things. We talk to our girls about being the leaders in our school and community,” Lamont added.
All the recent state tournament appearances are a testament to those values, but outside of all the victories, Lamont hopes student-athletes take away one important piece of advice from their time in a Buccaneer uniform.
“Trying to empower the girls. I try to lead by example and show them that I’m willing to stand up for things that I feel strongly for. I want them to be able to do the same. I’ve put on a symposium in the past few years and the whole goal of that is to get the girls the education and the tools, so they do feel empowered and can make good choices. Whether it be to build up their confidence to be so they’re strong enough to leave a bad situation, having the courage to try for a job you didn’t think you could get down the road, or push yourself to go for a career that you maybe thought was too challenging. Anything to get them to reach for the stars, to reach for their potential and strive to be their best selves every single day,” said Lamont.