WORTHINGTON -- Payton Sauerbrei was a freshman, and already a varsity athlete, with the Worthington Trojans when the Daily Globe wrote a story about her, her older brother Easton, and their coach father Stacy.
Easton was a senior at the time and a star on his father’s WHS baseball squad, but he tipped his cap to his younger sister.
“I think she’s a better athlete than me. She’s a three-sport athlete and is playing as a freshman in softball and basketball,” Easton said. “I like the family competition. I like her to succeed more than me.”
Fast forward to spring 2019, and Payton -- now a junior -- is the subject of a Drill interview with The Globe. She was asked about what her brother had said two years earlier, and she was quick with her response.
“He was definitely lying, trying to be nice,” she offered with a smile.
One thing is clear about Payton -- she came on the scene quickly in three sports, volleyball, basketball and softball. With another full year to play beyond this spring (which seems hard to believe), she continues to be a key member in all three sports.
She’s all over the floor in volleyball, an outstanding digger and passer and a good server, too. She handles the point on the girls basketball team and can score, too. She’s a quick, sure-handed shortstop with an accurate arm on the fast-pitch softball team. And she’s a versatile left-handed hitter who’s able to use her speed to reach safely with slap hits.
This year, the 5-6 dynamo is swinging away more often and pulling the ball for line drives.
Recently, it was time for The Globe to do a follow-up story with Payton, this time for The Drill. You can see the video online at www.dglobe.com. Here’s a sampling of the interview:
QUESTION: Do you remember what it was like playing varsity sports in your freshman year?
ANSWER: “I remember being very scared and nervous the first couple of games for every season. A lot of the upperclassmen really helped me feel comfortable playing with them.”
QUESTION: Which sport is your favorite?
ANSWER: “I can’t say which one of the sports is my favorite. I love volleyball because it’s just fun to play. I love basketball because of its intensity. And I just love softball all around, being outside and with my team.”
QUESTION: What is the most unusual thing about you that most people don’t know?
ANSWER: “Something unusual about me that most people don’t know is that I was so bad at batting right-handed when I was little that my parents forced me to bat left-handed. For most things I’m naturally right-handed. But in softball left-handed just works better.”