JUCO Transfer Avery Guy Adjusts To Division 1 Level At Iowa
After spending her first two years of college playing at the JUCO level for Des Moines Community College (DMACC), Avery Guy made the big move to Division 1 softball at the University of Iowa last season. As a resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa City was the perfect distance from home for Guy, and a great place for her to study speech pathology with the extra added bonus of playing softball.
“It was definitely a (big transition) in the beginning,” Guy said. “The junior college that I went to was pretty small. When it came down to softball, the biggest adjustment I had to make was just the level at which we were playing when it came to teams we were playing. I had to adjust my mindset, but other than that, it was pretty smooth sailing.”
Appearing in 19 games with 16 starts at third base and shortstop, Guy was getting into the groove of Division 1 softball until COVID-19 canceled Iowa’s season, putting her in an awkward situation.
Guy knew she needed to stay on top of her game during this weird time in fear she may fall behind. That’s why she had to make the summer of 2020 as beneficial to her as possible.
When it was deemed safe, she jumped at the opportunity for the third year in a row to play for Iowa’s Women’s Summer League (IWSL). For eight weeks, the league participates in doubleheaders consisting of college-aged players from the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA ranks.
“(IWSL) is this league for college softball players around the area to play in the summer to maintain their skills, but also have fun,” Guy said. “I play with a lot of friends that I have met growing up playing softball. I play with people that I used to play with in high school that now play at different colleges. It is kind of like a fun way to keep up our skills and fundamentals.”
Not only did Guy take part in the summer league, but she also continued to help coach at Jefferson High School, where she has been helping out as much as she can since she graduated from there in 2017.
“The last two years I have been a JV coach,” Guy said. I am there teaching the basic fundamentals to help (the high schoolers) get started. A lot of them are out there for fun just for a summer activity and a lot of them are just starting out in the sport, so I teach them the basics.”
Standing back and coaching ended up personally helping Guy in the long run. Watching the high schoolers and giving them tips helped her realize what she could improve in her own game when she got back to playing with Iowa in the fall.
“I see a lot when I am playing, but that extra perspective opens things up and it definitely helps me as a college athlete going from coaching in the summer to playing,” Guy said. “I can take things I have learned in college from my college coaches to coach the (high school), too.”
When she returned back to Iowa in the fall, she was still a newbie to the world of Division 1 softball, but she felt more prepared than ever to get back on the field. As Iowa continues to turn its program around, Guy is excited to contribute to the success of the Hawkeyes.
“It was different because last year we didn't get to any of our conference games, which was kind of a bummer, and this year we are only playing conference games,” Guy said. “Even now playing against these teams seems pretty new and fresh to me because I hadn't yet done that.
“It was hard for me last year getting games in, seeing the momentum that our team had for last year and it was all taken away. I was fortunate I was able to have this one last year.”