When we last saw Alexandra (Alex) Gruitch (Villager Newspaper, Volume 36, Number 28, May 31, 2018), daughter of Jeff and Elise Gruitch and granddaughter of Villager favorite Edie Marks, she had just finished her freshman year at Cherry Creek High School having earned a varsity letter in fastpitch softball. On December 16, Alex signed a letter of intent to accept an offer to play her college ball at the University of Maine. That offer was accompanied by a full-ride, four-year scholarship.
Alex told us that she knew from the time she was young, she wanted to play sports. She tried a few different ones, but nothing stuck until she started playing softball when she was in the third grade. She knew she had found her sport, but she didn’t like the fact that she spent a lot of time waiting to be a part of the game. “I hated not always being in the middle of the play because I wanted to be in the middle of the game,” Alex told us. She soon realized that she wanted to be a pitcher and began working with a private coach to get her skills to a high level. Along the way, she decided she wanted to pitch softball for a Division one college team. Despite the competition and all the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought, Alex achieved her goal.
We asked Alex why she chose the University of Maine. She said, “The coaching staff is really great and really cares about their athletes. They alsoreally care about their students. Some schools seem to care more about making money.” Alex plans to study business and political science. “My goal is to go to law school so I can go into corporate law or politics, maybe lobbying. I’ve been studying politics, my family is very involved in politics. I took AP (Advanced Placement) Government and AP Comparative Government and Politics,” she explained. We asked her about politics. She said, “I share some of my family’s political views, but I also have my own political views. I think it’s important to be respectful of everyone’s views.”
Alex was clear that she valued the education she got at Cherry Creek High School. She said, “Cherry Creek has very high academic standards that enabled me to find my own work ethic in academics and it carries over to sports as well,” adding, “If you put in the time and work, you will succeed.”
Dad Jeff Gruitch, a telecommunications company sales manager, has been one of Alex’s coaches through the years. He told The Villager that after three years of recreational softball, Alex knew she wanted to compete at a higher level, so she tried out for a competitive team. After playing for different clubs, she joined the Colorado Angels, a top-tier fastpitch softball club, three years ago and has been playing there since. Between the club and her Cherry Creek High School team, Alex pitches softball year-round. He said, “This year has been really challenging for the girls on our club team. The NCAA recruiting guidelines changed recently so that coaches can’t recruit players until their junior year. Then COVID came along and division one and division two coaches haven’t been allowed to have kids on campus—as of today, they are going to be permitted to make official visits in April, 2021. We are thrilled and proud that Alex got this full-ride offer from the University of Maine after the coach saw her videos and spoke to her on the phone.” Cherry Creek head softball coach Pablo Severtson has been watching Alex pitch for three years in club sports and at Creek this past year. He told The Villager, “She just knew what she wanted. She is a hard worker and dedicates herself to whatever she wants to do. When I presented her to the University of Maine coach by sending videos of her playing, he knew he wanted her on his team and he recruited her. Most girls don’t get full-ride scholarships for softball alone. In Alex’s case, her academic accomplishments added to her athletic ability accomplished that.”
The Villager joins Alex’s family and Cherry Creek High School in congratulating her on this wonderful accomplishment.