Getting to know ECC Warrior Kendall Roles
By Roy Anthony, Co-sports editor
February 25, 2012
Filed under Sports
The spot light shines on women’s softball left-fielder as one of the key players whose drive and determination helped the Warriors achieve a 4 to 3 victory over the Long Beach Vikings.
Kendall Roles, 18-year-old education major became interested in playing softball at the age of 6-years-old while watching her parents play slow pitch adult league on the weekends.
“I really didn’t get good at softball until I was in high school,” Roles said. “My coaches taught me the fundamentals and the importance of being a team player and to always be a good sport.”
Roles had always wanted to play sports typically not open to girls. Even though she enjoyed playing volleyball in high school, she was at one time drawn to the sport of hockey.
She said that she always wanted to play hockey because it seems like the sport would allow the release of pent-up frustration.
“There’s something so cool about hockey I find exciting,” she said. “Maybe I just like all the energy and excitement of the sport, but I would still like to play it sometime.”
Roles currently plays outfield and second base but is working very hard on improving her batting average.
“She is very determined,” Eugene Engle, health and fitness coach said in a statement. “I saw her putting in the extra work out in the batting cage; she is dedicated, hardworking and has improved as the semester went on.”
Roles believes that nutrition and exercise is a major contributor to her success as a team player on the field.
“We train 4 hours a day, Monday through Friday, just straight conditioning which involves a lot of sprinting to better our reaction time to the ball; we do a lot running and weight lifting too,” Roles said.
A typical breakfast for Roles is 1egg white, 2 pieces of toast, a banana and 4 ounces of orange juice, she said.
“I don’t eat meat so I get my proteins from things like beans and nuts,” she said. “I’m a veggie-head so I guess I’m pretty healthy.”
In high school Roles did a lot of dancing and considers dancing a sport as well as a form of artistic expression.
“I believe dance can be a sport because you can get a good workout,” Roles said.
However, what sets Roles apart from her contemporaries is her attitude and personality.
“That’s a big part of me,” Roles said. “I feel that athletics is a lot about who you are more than your athletic ability. Ability has a lot to do with it, but it’s really all about your attitude because if you can’t be coachable, then no one’s going to want to coach you, even if you are a really good player.”
While Roles often encourages and pushes her teammates to work hard, she helps keep team morale high by reminding them to remember to have fun and to maintain a good sense of humor.
“She keeps our team spirits up all the time,” Yasmin Antonio, 20, kinesiology major said. “She’ll say something funny to make us laugh to give us a pick up when we need it.”
Roles said she really pushes herself and still manages to maintain her GPA.
“I’ve taken 18 units every single semester while working at Vons Supermarket in the evening,” Roles said.
“She finished her class very strongly so I thought she became a better student throughout the class and that’s what you want to see is improvement,” Engle said.
Role’s determination and vision helps keep her goals in focus.
“If I want something, my mind will be set,” Roles said. “I get locked in and I will do whatever it takes to achieve my goal.”
Roles admits the best advice she had ever received was during a conference from professional women’s softball player Bianca Mejia.
“Bianca told me to keep going and fight for what you want,” Roles said. “And without struggle there is no progress.”
Roles believes that if she really pushes herself she can make a lot of money from this sport, but ultimately her goal is to one day become a teacher.
“I don’t know because softball is really competitive,” she said. “Especially because there are so many women that want to do this and there are so many good players out there, it’s like a one in a million chance.”
With a bright future ahead, Roles hopes to one day get married and have children.
“I’ll have a family and a perfect husband, just like a fairy tale,” she said laughingly.