Tolleson’s first year at Dumas High School


Eveline Rivero, Staff Writer

Coach Tolleson is the head softball coach and a history teacher for her first year at Dumas High School.

Tolleson has had several experiences in softball, and is now training her athletes to do the same. She started playing T-Ball at age 4. Then began to play on travel ball teams while growing up. She played softball all 4 years of High School. After, she played 2 years at Howard College and then went on to play at UTPB. Tolleson has several reasons for choosing Dumas.

“One of the big reasons why is because I grew up in Pampa. I’ve always played against Dumas, and I love the atmosphere. I love what it’s all about, I love the school, but I really chose here just because the experience. I knew they were great athletes, great kids, and great parents. I just wanted to be a part of a great program and great school,” Tolleson said.

The experience she has had so far has formed not only herself, but her players into greater people, on and off the field. Also influencing them to have higher goals.

“I absolutely think and hope I have influenced them to have higher goals. We hold them to higher expectations and it’s hard, but I think they’re getting used to it. They’re working hard and doing everything we ask in the classroom, as well as during practice. I think they’re doing their best and we’re getting stuff done.” Tolleson said.

Tolleson has built close relationships with her athletes, bettering the outcome of her team. Hopey Cortes and Sinai Gutierrez are both varsity softball players, who have improved on and off the field.

“From the first day she came, she knew there was work to be done and she’s been pushing us ever since. I like the drills she has us do, and how she demonstrates to us ways to correct our mistakes. I love how she gets us pumped as we do [practice], when we hit a dinger or make a good play,” Cortes said.

Tolleson claims her experience so far is what she expected it to be and more.

“I had high hopes coming in and I’ve had the best time. I’ve been working with some of the best athletes,  and I have some of the best kids in class,” Tolleson said. “It’s just so much fun, it’s what I expected and better. I love being here, I love the kids, everything about it. I’m so happy I call Dumas home.” 

Tolleson has influenced the players to become better people and students.

“She has enabled us to attain levels of performance not otherwise achievable. She inspires and empowers us to achieve our full potential. She knows our individual differences. She pays attention to our emotions, strengths and weaknesses,” Gutierrez said. “She helps us become better teammates and she makes sure that we keep our school work first. She pushes us to be the best we can be, especially in those times when we are close to giving up.” 

She knows and acknowledges that it might have been hard for her athletes to adjust to a new coach, but she is so proud of all the adjustments and changes they have made.

“It’s always hard to get a new coach just because, there’s new expectations, new rules and new how-to-do stuff,” Tolleson said.  “Coming into it, I just wanted them to be excited and positive, and they’re doing a great job, all the way from JV to varsity. I hope me being here has been a positive experience for them.” 

Encouraging and believing in her athletes, are two of her biggest traits.

“At every turn she wanted us to reach our fullest potential and exceed even on our own expectations. Whether we make a serious mistake or save the game in final seconds, she’s always there to show us where we could improve and how to achieve the next level of success,” Gutierrez said.  “I believe Coach Tolleson’s first year being here is so far, a success and it’s been a true blessing to be able to call her our coach.” 

Tolleson is excited to see how far her team will go and is more than ready for her team to take on all her district opponents.

“I’m so excited, district is starting up. JV is doing great, can’t wait to have them in the future. Varsity is doing great, and we’re really at our peak right now,” Tolleson said.   “I really have high hopes for this team and how far we’ll go and if we stay together and keep building from here we’re going to have a great run. Not only in district but playoffs.”