As a left-hander in a right-handed world, Cassidy LaFleur is used to doing things differently whether it’s trying to eat without bumping elbows with other people, sitting at the left end of the classroom or excelling in sports at GHS, being a southpaw enables her to stand out among her peers
Cassidy LaFleur is used to doing things differently.
Whether it involves eating, writing or throwing, LaFleur stands out from most of her peers.
That’s because she is left-handed.
“I always had to do things different,” LaFleur said. “I sit at the end of the table when eating so I don’t bump elbows with other people while they’re eating, and I always try to sit at the left end of the classroom.”
Despite these obstacles, LaFleur is still involved in many things. The junior at Gonzales High School is a two-year varsity cheerleader, a two-year letterman in softball, the setter for the junior varsity volleyball team, a Gonzales County Duchess and a lifeguard at Gonzales City Pool.
Being left-handed hasn’t always been easy for LaFleur. One of her former American Softball Association (ASA) coaches was successful in getting her to start batting right-handed.
“My coach at that time didn’t want any lefties on the team, so he worked on getting me to bat right-handed,” LaFleur said. “He didn’t get me to start throwing right-handed, though.”
While one softball coach thought being left-handed was a detriment, LaFleur’s current ASA coach, former University of Texas baseball player John McBride, believes it’s great. McBride even played her at catcher.
“Coach McBride thinks it’s an advantage to have a left-handed catcher for some reason,” she said. “You don’t see too many left-handed catchers, either.”
McBride is the head coach for the Centex Rattlers out of San Marcos as well as the father of San Marcos High School softball coach Kathy McBride Stoughton. McBride believes she was a valuable asset for his team.
“Usually you don’t find too many left-handed catchers,” McBride said. “She adapted well and she has a good release. She hustled and tried hard, and her athletic ability is good. With her athletic ability, Cassidy can succeed in anything she decides to do. She did everything we asked her to do. She’s also a good kid and a person you would like to have on your team.”
While LaFleur occasionally played catcher for the Rattlers’ 18U ASA team, she plays center field for Gonzales. She prefers playing center field.
“I like center field because you get to see the whole field,” LaFleur said. “You feel like you control everything on the field.”
LaFleur was a first team all-district outfielder for the 2012 season, and also hit No. 5 in the Lady Apaches’ batting lineup toward the end of the season. She has been a varsity letterman in softball since her freshman year.
Gonzales missed the playoffs by one game a year ago. LaFleur is determined to not just help the Lady Apaches reach the postseason in 2013 and 2014, but to do something greater.
“I want us to win state in softball,” she said. “I also hope to keep earning all-district awards.”
Although college recruiters can’t talk to LaFleur until the school year officially starts, she has her eye on a trio of schools. She is considering Texas A&M, Texas State or A&M-Corpus Christi.
Unlike many of her peers, LaFleur already has her mind made up on what she wants to pursue as a career. She wants to be an orthopedic surgeon.
“I’ve hurt my ankle so many times and broken my collarbone once, so I want to be able to fix people when they break a bone,” LaFleur said.
When she’s not playing softball, LaFleur remains busy – especially on Friday nights in the fall. After playing setter for the Gonzales JV volleyball team, LaFleur will trade in her volleyball uniform for a Gonzales cheerleading outfit and race out to the Gonzales football game to cheer the Apaches on to victory.
While Friday nights can be hectic for LaFleur and her other dual-tasking volleyball players/cheerleaders, she enjoys doing it.
“I love it,” she said. “I’ve been doing both volleyball and cheerleading since junior high. I used to go to all of the cheerleading clinics when I was little, too.”
LaFleur was recently crowned a Gonzales County Duchess. She has been involved in pageants since she was 8 years old.
But when it comes to what sport she wants to play in college, LaFleur didn’t hesitate to respond.
“I want to play softball in college,” she said. “That is my sport and I love it.”
She wouldn’t have it any differently.