Queen Creek's Stephanie Mejia: The gold standard of coaching

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Queen Creek softball coach Stephanie Mejia is one of the best coaches in the state. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Queen Creek softball coach Stephanie Mejia is one of the best coaches in the state. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Mejia has built a top ballclub. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Mejia has built a top ballclub. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The team trusts and believes in coach Mejia's family atmosphere approach. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The team trusts and believes in coach Mejia's family atmosphere approach. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
QUEEN CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Head Queen Creek softball coach Stephanie Mejia told me her father really pushed her to be a great softball player. He would hit her ground ball after ground ball and throw her batting practice and then more batting practice. 

The hard work paid off. Mejia and her sister were highly-skilled club players growing up.

Mejia had to step down when she discovered she had diabetes. 

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Her father, once again, played a pivotal role in her life and suggested coaching and she's never looked back. She is one of the best softball coaches in the state at any level. So respected, she gives private hitting lessons to kids from all over Phoenix.

Her main focus is her Bulldogs squad. Mejia's practices are very loose and relaxed, but highly structured. The kids work hard and have fun in the process. 

"Both me and my sister played on elite club teams, so we know club ball is more important, so we want school ball to be a little bit more fun and more relaxed, where they want to come to practice," said Mejia.

A four-year climb of the team trusting and believing in coach Mejia's family atmosphere approach.

"She's definitely one of the best coaches I've had. Players each year get better and better. And we just keep working hard every day," said third basemen Millie Parra. 

"Our goal is to have these kids want to come back to Queen Creek and want to coach and want to be proud to be alumni at Queen Creek," said Mejia.

Mejia has built a top ballclub. Losing in the semifinals a year ago, the team returns with deep pitching and big bats.  

"Returners, we have five, our pitcher is one of them. She led us all the way. So she's back in her senior season and she has a little chip on her shoulder and so do the other so. We're hoping to make another run again" said Mejia.

Never one to brag about accomplishments, coach Mejia won national club aments at 16 and 18u. She downplays it, but her team understands what a great coach they have.

"She respects us so it's easy to respect her and look up to her as a player, coach and a winner," said pitcher Julia Heitz.

Playing winning softball and becoming one of the best programs in the state is a joy for coach Mejia. It's all part of her bigger picture for her team.

"Just to see them grow and go to college, signing their letters, to any college they go to, that's what I look forward to," said Mejia.

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