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Davis Journal

New VHS softball coaching staff bringing experience to the field

Feb 27, 2023 10:09AM ● By Catherine Garrett

New Viewmont High School softball coach Bree Lopez (on right) will be assisted by Kayla Lowry on the coaching staff this season. Photo courtesy Bree Lopez

Two former college softball players are teaming up to coach the Viewmont High softball program this spring. Bree Lopez, who played at Western Nebraska, is the new head coach with Kayla Lowry – who played at Utah Valley University and then later at Taft College in California – assisting the Vikings this year.

“It’s exciting to be coaching at Viewmont,” Lopez said. “We’ve been able to be around the girls a bit with weightlifting and open gyms this winter and try and learn what they need, what drives them and how they need to be motivated. I’m big on developing them as athletes, students and people in the community.”

“Bree and I kind of came together through the hiring process when I was asked if I would be interested in assisting at all. All I want to do is coach,” said Lowry. “We met and found that we have a perfect balance with our strengths.”

Lopez, whose maiden name was Bitton, started playing softball at the age of 6 and was mainly a catcher and first baseman during her young competitive playing days which including four years at Syracuse High School. After playing for the Titans, she was a second baseman and designated hitter on the Western Nebraska Community College squad during the 2010-12 seasons when the Cougars won their region both years and were ranked in the top 10 of the Nationals Junior College Athletic Association.

She got into the coaching ranks with some local comp teams and then returned to Syracuse High in 2013 to help coach her alma mater. The next summer, she got married and then started up a 10-and-under team for her niece and stepdaughter.

“Softball provided me some great experiences and I learned a lot from coaches [including current University of Utah head coach Amy Hogue who coached her 14U Utah Sting team] who had a big impact on me,” Lopez said. “I want to give my players skills to use in all aspects of their life just like I was taught.”

Lopez has also been involved in body building competitions and personal training for several years while also having three children, the oldest of which is autistic. She stepped away from coaching in 2021 and felt the timing of the Viewmont job “seemed to align” in trying to get back into the game while she also took a position at Tolman Elementary as a Special Education teacher for kindergarten through sixth grades.

“When I’m all about something, I obsess, and on the field, I just flip a switch,” she said. “My coaching philosophy does evolve, but it really is about buy-in and if I can get these girls to believe in what we’re saying and have the right attitude and effort, we will find success. We want to learn and grow and win some games.”

Lopez also intends to use “softball sister relationships” to periodically bring in other former collegiate players and friends to help teach the game to the Vikings players. 

New VHS assistant coach Kayla Lowry has been on the diamond since she was 4 years old and behind the plate for many of those years. She played catcher at Liberty High School in Bakersfield, California before moving on to play at the next level at UVU in 2017. She returned to Liberty to coach at her alma mater the next two years and then returned to collegiate play at Taft College for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. 

Lowry said she is thrilled to be back in Utah and back into coaching the sport she is passionate about. “Softball is my saving grace. It’s my escape. It’s my jam,” she said. “Coaches – three or four, in particular – have played a huge role and impact in my life. They helped me so much and I want to give back to other kids and give them the role model and support they are looking for. I want them to know they can push themselves on and through hard things, be their own advocate and be able young women who can use those lessons on and off the field.”

Coach Lowry said she and Lopez have tried to help their players navigate the coaching change and find a good balance for themselves of listening to different feedback and perspectives as they have prepared for games this spring.

“We see great potential with these girls and are excited for the season to see what they can do, especially as the season progresses,” Lowry said.