DENVILLE, NJ – The Morris Knolls High School varsity softball team ended its season in admirable fashion. It won 23 of 29 games, clinched the top spot in its conference and earned the 2019 Morris County Tournament title. None of these impressive accomplishments would have been possible without the stellar athleticism of the team’s players, passionate coaching of Head Coach Keith Heinemann, and ardent support of Kaitlyn Chomyszak of Wharton, arguably the team’s number one fan.
While as a special education student at Morris Knolls, Chomyszak served as the team’s manager for seven years, attending all the games. Her primary responsibility was to fervently cheer on all the players. Although Chomyszak aged out of the program in June 2018, she continues to attend as many home and nearby away games as possible in an unofficial capacity to help lift the team’s spirit. When she shows up, the entire team and coaching staff light up.
“Kaitlyn has been by my side for the last seven or eight years,” shared Heinemann, whose bond with Chomyszak began her freshman year when she was a student in his physical education class. “Since her freshman year, she has been … [the] good luck charm [of the varsity softball program] … She is the most passionate and enthusiastic individual I have had in my program over the years. She cheers and supports each and every girl in the program. She puts her heart and soul into every game we play,” said Heinemann.
Fully aware of the value she brings to the program, Chomyszak dutifully stands in the dugout, rain or shine, shoulder-to-shoulder with the other girls, offering encouraging words and chants. “It’s my family. I love them. They’re my sisters,” she answered when asked why she enjoys being team manager so much. Chomyszak, 22, has just one sibling, an older brother who attended Morris Hills High School.
Heinemann can attest to the fondness among Chomyszak and the players. “The thing that I cherish the most is the friendships she has made with all the girls throughout the years. As soon as any of the past or current players see her, they come up and give her a big hug, and I love to see her smile ear to ear. I'm sure over time the wins and losses will get pushed aside but the friendships she has made will last forever.”
“Being manager of the team is the best thing that could have happened to Katie,” according to Kelly Chomyszak, Kaitlyn’s mother. “I’m forever grateful to Coach Heinemann for giving her this opportunity.”
“[Katie] will always be a part of the program as long as I am still coaching,” declared Heinemann. “She has a special place in my heart, and I will always cherish the moments we had together on the field.”
TAPintoDenville.net is a member of the New Jersey Press Association and is a hyperlocal news site that serves residents, organizations and business owners of Denville, New Jersey.
Sign up for our FREE daily eNews.
Got a news tip? Email us at fnixon@TAPinto.net.