WILMINGTON, MA — This is the third in a series of profiles celebrating the five recent WHS graduates who played on this year’s varsity softball team.
The motto of the Wilmington High School Varsity Softball team is “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”. Antonia Kieran is molded into this saying. Antonia started playing softball at the age of 6 years old with Wilmington little league in the U8 division. You could see immediately that she fell in love with the game at this age.
It wasn’t until U-10 that she found the position that she would fall in love with and that was 1b. Throughout the years she played first and pitched in Wilmington in town playing with Dan Ardito and Billy Norman on the summer travel teams. She attended every clinic that was offered through the town in hopes of becoming an elite softball player.
Her second year of U-10 she wanted to try out for a travel team that the Noreasters was putting together where her grandfather had spent many years coaching. At the end of tryouts they decided not to put a team together because they didn’t have talent. The director told Antonia’s grandfather that she would never be a good softball player with her skill set.
Antonia took this to heart and made it her mission to get better. She went down to the field and practiced every single day on defense. It was her mission to become one of the better defensive players in her age group. The following season with her hard work and dedication she made a U-14 travel team as a first year 12 year old. Playing with the Noreasters for the last 8 years, her skills improved tremendously.
As an 8th grader Antonia played Freshman High School softball and played first base every time. As a freshman, she made Varsity and was 2nd in line behind a senior first baseman. The first few games Antonia was chomping at the bit to get an opportunity to show the coaches what she had. By the third game she finally got her opportunity to play and was outstanding in a game versus Stoneham. She made several key plays and never left 1b again for the next four years. Throughout her career at Wilmington High School she made less than 5 errors defensively. She was named Captain her senior year, and a 3 time 300 club earner. She was also named Middlesex League Allstar her senior year. She was referenced in the last edition of the town crier as one of the best defensive first baseman since the late 1990s.
Antonia’s parents Tim Kieran and Lisa Faretra would attend all of Antonia’s games throughout her career. Her dad coached her for many years until the age of 16. If you were to ask him what he is most proud about Antonia’s softball career he would tell you that she is the most dedicated and hardest worker he has ever seen. His proudest accomplishment of Antonia is when the director of the Noreasters approached him and stated, “I don’t know what she did but Antonia has become a phenomenal softball player”
Antonia’s passion for the game is shown through her heart and dedication; constantly volunteering for clinics to help younger players get better at the game. Antonia will be attending Lesley University where she will continue playing the game that she is so passionate for. She will be studying Higher Education in math in the hopes of one day becoming a high school math teacher and a varsity softball coach.
(NOTE: The above profile is from Wilmington Little League.)
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