Mark Nyquist started by saying Colleen Rex is an unselfish player. And the Youngsville softball coach went on raving from there.
He said catchers sometimes are underappreciated, but not "Rexy."
"She's what you want as a coach," said Nyquist, whose Lady Eagles will play West Middlesex in the District 10 Class A playoffs at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Allegheny College. "'Colleen, can you do this? Colleen, take charge out there.' Everything she's done has been absolutely for the team.
Youngsville senior Colleen Rex
"She was always an infielder," he said, "and I needed a centerfielder her freshman year. She became an all-region outfielder.
"Then, I needed a catcher."
And she's a darn good one.
She has been Nyquist's leadoff hitter all along.
Amber Fox has a bunch of runs batted in, but someone has to get on in front of her for Amber to knock her in, said Nyquist.
That's Colleen Rex, for starters.
A little "Q & A" with Colleen Rex:
Q: Who are your parents and siblings, what sports do you participate in, and any information you think we'd find useful?
A: My parents are Steve and Penny Rex. My siblings are my older brother Stevie, my older sister Natalie, and my younger brother Mitchell. My family is tremendously supportive. My parents have come to pretty much every game I've ever played in, missing only in unusual circumstances. My brothers, sister, and grandparents are great at being there too and I appreciate every game you guys have ever frozen or sweated through. I now only play softball but through out my life time I've tried out pretty much every sport out there including basketball, soccer, cheerleading, running cross country and I've also ridden horses since I was 7.
Q: You have bounced around from position to position on the softball diamond. What is your favorite and why?
A: That's a tough question because I've certainly warmed up to catching in my two years there but I would have to say center field is where I really love to play. Nothing beats running down and barely catching that fly ball you thought you were going to miss.
Q: Do you take pride in the fact you have been a jack of all trades? What has this taught you?
A: I have a lot of pride in the fact that I could go to any position on the field and know what I'm doing. I've put a lot of hard work into learning all that I've learned in softball. It's taught me to pay close attention to details and to think ahead. Knowing where to go and what to do anywhere on the field in any situation takes a lot of time to learn and it's been an amazing asset as a catcher because I can help my teammates out in any situation because I know what they're supposed to be doing.
Q: You are also a hard worker off the field... Where did you get this tremendous work ethic?
A: From my parents, for sure. They've been great examples in showing me that you can accomplish anything if you work hard enough at it. Both my parents went back to college in their 40's and graduated with degrees. That's not something easy to do and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to graduate from college, let alone going back after being out of school for 20 something years.
Q: How long have you played softball and is there any other sport that compares for you? What do you love most about it?
A: I've played softball since the very first year you could sign up for tee ball. There is nothing that compares to it for me and I could play softball for hours on end, for days in a row, and never get sick of it. I love that it's an individual, and also team sport. You have time to shine by yourself, but you're only going to win the ball game if your whole team is playing well. That team feeling is a great feeling and I'm very lucky to have it with the ladies I play ball with.
Q: What other sports did you participate in, and what did you take out of the other sports you've played as you've grown up?
A: I played basketball my eighth and freshman grade years as well as playing soccer for a travel team. I also did football and competition cheer a few years as well. The main thing that I've taken out of any of my sports is to try your hardest and to be a positive influence on any team you are on. Getting along with people is also a very important skill I've learned. You're not always going to like everybody but the best thing you can do is to get along.
Q: What are you involved in outside of sports?
A: For eight years I was involved in the Warren County 4-H for horses and have had some incredible experiences and met some fantastic people through that. I've been on yearbook staff at school the past two years and this year I was an editor. I've also worked at Thorne's Bilo the past two years and am currently training to become a lifeguard up at the Brokenstraw Pool. I love to spend any free time with my boyfriend and favorite crew of friends.
Q: What do you want to do after high school? College?
A: I'm attending JCC in the fall for nursing and I'm planning on playing softball there as well. After I graduate college I'd like to move a little closer to maybe Erie or Pittsburgh to work. I'm not much for the big city but I could live outside one. I intend to stay relatively close to Youngsville no matter what I do to stay close to my family.
Q: Who or what inspires you, and why?
A: I have always loved Jennie Finch growing up. She was a pitcher for the U.S. Olympic team in 2004 and 2008 and led them to gold medals both years. She is an amazing softball player and very pretty too. She proves that you can still be a pretty girl and be an amazing athlete.
Q: What characteristics of Colleen Rex are you most proud of?
A: I would have to say my drive and ability to bounce back. I've never been the kind of player to get down on themselves and let mistakes affect their playing. If I happen to strike out I come into the dugout and put the catchers gear on and let it go. It's over with and the only thing you can do is focus on playing the best defense you can play to make up for it.
Q: Tell me something not many know about you that you'd be willing to share.
A: I spend a lot of time outside and I've ridden horses since I was seven and have owned one since i was 12. My horses name is Fancy and she is the sweetest and smartest horse I've ever met but I might be biased. My dog Almonzoe is also very important to me and whenever I have some free time and it's nice out I love to go on trail rides with them like 2 or 3 hours just the three of us in the woods.
Q: Tell me one question I forgot to ask, and then answer it.
A: Who influenced you most as an athlete growing up? My father, Steve. He was my softball coach from the time I began playing all the way to the year before my freshman year. I would not be the player I am today without him and all the hours upon hours we spent together whether it was pitching at my house or him taking me down to the ball fields and hitting balls to me or even when him and I used to read the rule book together and go over things. More then any other coach he taught me the finer points of the game and refined skills with me that I rely on every game. I owe him more then I could say for teaching me how to play ball. Thank you dad.