r SPANISH FORK – The Don Andrews and Natalie Jarvis fields at the Spanish Fork Softball Complex honor a 20-year coaching team at Spanish Fork High School.
A ceremony announcing the name change came after – but planned months before – the duo led the Spanish Fork Lady Dons softball teams to 15 titles, including in May its third straight 4A state championship.
“Don [Andrews] and Nat [Jarvis] are the best coaches I have been able to grow up with,” Spanish Fork junior Gabby Beckstrom told Daily Herald sportswriter Jared Lloyd for a May 27 article. “I never knew I would have coaches who would have fields named after them. It was super cool.”
Andrews started girls’ softball at Spanish Fork High School with 15 players 20 years ago. Jarvis quickly was onboard to help. The banners identifying the fields’ new names say “Don Andrews Field – Home of the Dons” and “Natalie Jarvis Field – Heart of the Dons.”
A 20-minute YouTube video of the recognition ceremony includes accolades by city and school leaders as well as present and former team members.
“I believe in these two and this program,” said Spanish Fork High School Principal Dave McKee. “Spanish Fork High School loves you.”
In his remarks, city Parks and Recreation Director Dale Robinson said Andrews and Jarvis did more than just teach softball skills and techniques. “They taught dedication and hard work, too.”
The head coach at Salem Hills High School, a former softball Lady Don, spoke of her appreciation for the skills “and so much more” she learned. Those fortunate enough to play under the direction and support of Andrews and Jarvis, “leave this program better people,” she said.
One current team member referred to one aspect of Andrews’ coaching style: “You weren’t a member of the club until you were yelled at by Don, and we are all members,” she said with a laugh.
Andrews is equally known for the encouragement he gives to the team, and that includes Jarvis. “No way could I have made 20 years [coaching this team] without Natalie,” the head coach told the hundred or more people at the fields-naming ceremony in late May.
“I’m pleased that Nat got a field because when they say she is the heart of this team, she is,” Andrews continued. “She doesn’t get the credit she deserves.”
“It’s a collaboration between us,” the head coach told Lloyd. “Sometimes she cusses me and sometimes I listen. She is invaluable. If she quit, I’d quit.”
The first pitch in the 2017-18 Lady Dons season is not until next Spring.