Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Sports Person of the Week

Bugden Made a Difference Around the Diamond


Sophie Bugden’s versatility proved a huge asset to the Westbrook softball squad.

Photo courtesy of Sophie Bugden

Sophie Bugden’s versatility proved a huge asset to the Westbrook softball squad. (Photo courtesy of Sophie Bugden )

Sophie Bugden was a super utility player for the Westbrook softball team. A recent graduate, Sophie used her versatility to make her presence felt all over the field for the Knights. Sophie had never played softball prior to high school, but made a great choice when she signed up to compete for Head Coach Caitlin Eichler’s squad.

“I only started playing softball in my freshman year of high school. I had always wanted to play, but never had the time before,” says Sophie. “When I found out my favorite teacher Ms. Eichler was the coach and many of my friends from other sports I played with were going to be on the team, I decided to try it. I loved it and learned so much.”

Sophie was part of a strong senior class for the Knights that included her twin sister Chloe Bugden. Even though she didn’t get to play her senior season, Sophie still enjoyed plenty of memorable moments during her time at Westbrook.

“My favorite moment of the 2019 season was getting back on the field after being injured at the scrimmage just before the season started. It was hard to watch everyone else play and wanting to be on the field. It felt great to get back in there, and I was so ready,” Sophie says. “To improve my game, I would spend time working on things that the coach pointed out that I needed to improve on. I would work with my twin sister Chloe and practice, practice, practice.”

Coach Eichler praises Sophie for being a tremendous team player. Eichler says that Sophie gave the Knights a huge boost both on the diamond and in the dugout.

“Sophie was the ultimate utility player who was able to fill in at any place needed,” says Eichler. “She was a team player who always cheered on her teammates and remained a positive spark on our roster. Although Sophie was injured last year, she still played an integral role on our team.”

Sophie considers Coach Eichler a mentor in her life. Sophie says that Eichler played an instrumental role in her progression as a softball player.

“My head coach was a great mentor,” says Sophie. “Her experience and talent that she shared with us helped me improve year after year. She is positive and encouraging, and our other coaches pushed us to be our best.”

Sophie also played soccer at Westbrook and was a competitive dancer from ages 5 to 16. Sophie has earned a host of awards, including the National School Choral Award and honors for Outstanding Effort in CP Statistics and Outstanding Achievement in Choreography, in addition to being a 2020 Connecticut Musical Educators Association regional member.

Sophie also received the Bill’s Seafood Scholarship and was awarded a scholarship from the F. Curtis and Susan B. Thrall Foundation. Next year, she will attend Florence Darlington Technical College in South Carolina to study medical radiologic technology.

“I was in the high school plays and musicals from my sophomore through senior years and was the dance captain for junior and senior years,” Sophie says. “I love to sing in the acoustic café that we have each year at school. I sang in the Southern Regional mixed choir this past year.”

Sophie is going to miss working with her teammates at Westbrook. Sophie will always cherish the memories that they experienced together on the field.

“My favorite thing was the hard work and effort we put,” says Sophie. “I also enjoyed the camaraderie that we all shared.”

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