Good Sports: Ellyssa Varela

FRESNO, Calif.

"How much I like to play baseball for little league," said Varela. "I want to keep doing baseball."

That's right, Ellyssa is also an outstanding little league baseball player, leading her team in hits, runs and RBI's. And for her outstanding season, she was named to the all-star team in both Bobby Sox and Little League, believed to be the only girl in Madera history to do both.

"It feels great because I'm the first girl to make all-stars for baseball," said Varela. "And for softball there's no difference because it's the same. It's just I'm playing with boys in baseball and girls in softball."

"Watching her play in the stands and then watching her in the dugout as well, i said it's something that 20 years from now I'm going to look back on and know that this was very special," said her father, Scott Varela.

Her Bobby Sox coach can't say enough about Ellyssa's passion and drive for whichever sport she's playing.

"The most special thing is her desire to keep playing," said Madera Bobby Sox 14-U Head Coach Jose Cuevas. "She wants to play. Especially when colleges look for you, everybody looks for you, they look for that special athlete that wants to do it. And she's one of them."

And while Ellyssa is extremely soft-spoken, Cuevas calls her one of the toughest girls he's ever seen on the diamond.

"Watching her playing baseball here for the first time against some other older team, and she got some guy that was bigger than her and dropped him to the ground," raved Cuevas. "That was the most memorable - I was right here watching her do it."

Ellyssa won't dispute the praise, saying she loves the thrill of proving herself against both the best softball and baseball players around. Her biggest goal says it all.

"I would want to be the first girl to play professional baseball against the boys," said Varela.

"I think every father in America would love to have a daughter to be able to play baseball," said Scott Varela. "And to be very good at it. Baseball has always been a big thing in our family. And for her to pick it up and to love it the way she does is great. Really great."

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