Megan Johnson, aka “Maddog,” daughter of Jake Johnson and Amanda Hull, accepted a partial athletic scholarship and signed to play softball for Miles Community College in Miles City, Montana under Coach Shawna Juarez. The junior college will be the perfect place for her focus on her generals as she decides on a major.
“I chose Miles because the team and the coaches are amazing people, and I know that I will become a better player and person while I’m there,” she said.
“While I’m in college I want to find what I want to go into and learn how to live on my own. I’m using this opportunity to play at a junior college to really strengthen my skills as a player and further my education.”
Family friend and coach Sara Nelson began calling Johnson “Maddog” early on and the nickname is heard often in the chatter on the field and in the dugout during PHS softball games when Johnson is playing.
Megan began playing softball at age 12 and is the first in her family to pursue college athletics. So far this season Johnson leads the Preston High School softball team with five home runs, 14 runs and 10 RBIs. From her position as shortstop, she has also recorded 33 putouts.
“Her contributions to the team this year have been huge for the team,” said PHS softball coach Larry Morrison. “Her batting average is .553 which is very well. She can hit base hits and does have great power to hit it over also. She has been a great leader as a senior and brings a lot to her team. She plays the shortstop position very well, fields the ball and doesn’t have many errors. I am happy that she has been able to sign with a great college she has worked very hard to get where she is at today. It’s been fun as a head coach to see her grow and improve to this level since she has been in the program. It’s a well deserved signing and I am happy and proud of her. She has an excellent work ethic and a winning mentality. Will be very fun to see how she does in college after the high school Season. Congratulations Megan.”
“I love softball because if the rush it gives me, every time I step out on that field,” Johnson said. “There’s no better feeling than making solid contact with the ball or making a great play.”
Johnson said a great deal of hard work went into gaining and honing the skills she has.
“I’ve put a lot of hours into practicing and playing time,” Johnson said. Countless hours on the tee at home just hitting into a net, the hours spent staying after practice just to get my swing right, or all of the days I hit it hard in the weight room.”
Her love of the game has made the time spent practicing and preparing worth every minute.
“There is simply nothing like it,” Megan said of softball. “I haven’t found anything that I love more than playing. The lessons that I’ve learned from softball have been so beneficial not only to my playing but to my everyday life and personality.”
Softball has challenged Johnson physically with hours of practice but the mental aspect is at least as demanding.
“Softball is such a mental game and I have had to learn how to get past the mental blocks that you get as a hitter,” she said. “There is so much self doubt that you have to overcome while playing. I’m still working on it every day. My favorite thing about softball is hitting home runs. There’s no better feeling than knowing that all the work that I’ve put into my swing and mental game of hitting pay off. Overcoming my failures while playing, such as strikeouts or errors, has been my biggest challenge. I’ve had to learn that I can’t always be perfect and mistakes happen but it’s what I do after those mistakes that really matters.”
Though hard work and love of the game go a long way, the support of family and coaches makes a huge difference in the success of an athlete. Johnson appreciates each of those who have been there to teach, challenge and encourage her throughout her years playing. She said she also enjoys a good game of golf with family.
“I love to golf with my grandparents when I am not playing softball. I’ve been doing it since I was young and enjoyed it ever since, as just a fun activity to spend time with my family,” she said.
“I want to thank my coaches, my teammates, and my parents,” she said. “They have all helped me get to this point and the have supported me 100% through it all. My coaches have taught me so much about hard work and dedication that has driven me to do my best in everything I do. My club coaches and my high school coaches have influenced me the most. They have always taught me to work my hardest in everything I do and to love the game while doing it. I’ve learned to love the sport more and more every day that I play and learn and grow.”
Johnson begins school in the fall of 2021 and will be a fantastic representative of Preston at the next level.
“I’m so excited to be starting a new chapter in my life and can’t wait for it to begin,” she said.