It wasn’t long ago that Alexa Landschoot walked the halls of Eddy Elementary School in St. Clair.
On Friday, however, Landschoot was back at her old stomping grounds playing the role of mentor for the fifth grade students she spoke to.
Landschoot and the other St. Clair High School softball team players were at the school Friday reading to students in several classrooms.
“When I was in fifth grade, I had people read to me, too,” Landschoot said with a smile. “It’s crazy switching the positions. Now I’m walking down these hallways and seeing these little kids are incredible.
“It’s so great being viewed as a role model. It gives you a good feeling and makes you want to be a better person.”
That’s music to the ears of St. Clair assistant softball coach Rich Mallwitz, who is a former baseball coach for the program. During his tenure, he often encouraged students to embark on outreach projects such as Friday’s.
“When I was the baseball coach we did this all of the time and then I shifted over to softball and I got out of the habit,” Mallwitz said. “This year is a renewing of the tradition.
“We talk to them all of the time about doing stuff in the community and doing something for someone other than yourself. You have to do something for other people.”
It appears that message sunk in quickly with the Saints. St. Clair junior infielder Sarah Longuski said she looked forward to to the experience after her own positive experiences as a child.
“When I was little, there were so many baseball and softball players that I looked up to like Kari Seddon. She helped me pitch and do all of these little things. I looked up to her and I still look up to her so it’s kind of fun thinking these kids can look up to us the same way I looked up to her.”
Landschoot and St. Clair senior Avary Humes drew the assignment of reading to Kerri Wahl’s fifth grade class. Madison Rzeppa and Nolan Fiscelli were two of the students that were left impacted from what they need.
“My brother is a high schooler with Alexa and I think it’s good they are getting involved with the elementary school,” Rzeppa said.
“I can imagine coming back and doing this one day,” Fiscelli added “I think it would be pretty cool.”
Wahl, meanwhile, appeared to be happy to use the experience as another teaching tool for her students.
“It’s nice to see people come back and give the children an idea of what it takes to be a good student and a good athlete,” she said. “It’s nice to see that combination come together.”
And for the Saints, who have practiced indoors the past two weeks, it was nice to get out and impact children in the community.
“I think this is a great experience not only for us but also for them,” Humes said. “They can see as you grow older you really appreciate those that have helped you along the way to help you get where you are at.
“I like giving back to the community that helped me get to where I am. We are a very successful program and we have had a lot of support from the community. It’s great to give back to them.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.