Paly’s Sportsmanship Award: Katie Dorogusker


Trey Collins and Aspen Stitt

Katie Dorogusker is an exemplary teammate and friend on as well as off the softball field. She has been a committed player on the team since she joined freshman year and has continued her commitment throughout her career despite being in the wake of adversity and has worked her way up to captain. Dorogusker has been awarded the Alok Subbrarao award this year due to her infamous ability to promote a positive environment for her team to uplift each other up, make mistakes, and grow as players and as people. 

Many of Dorogusker’s teammates have described her as a “committed”, “kind”, “understanding” and “compassionate” teammate. Dorogusker’s warm presence on the team is cherished during warm-ups, team chants, and simply whenever she helps cheer on a teammate. Dorogusker is a friendly face to opposing players as well and loves talking to and making friends with the other team.

Dorogusker started softball when she was just six years old with a couple of her friends, and to this day she still plays with them. Dorogusker played up until middle school where she took a break from the sport, but Dorogusker couldn’t quite escape her itch for softball. She started playing again her freshman year at Paly and never looked back. At first it was hard coming back to Softball after so long but she soon found it was where she was meant to be. Softball soon became the heart of some of Dorogusker’s fondest memories with some of her favorite people.

“When I first started playing at Paly as a freshman, I had really great upperclassmen that helped me get reacquainted with the game” she said. “They definitely opened my eyes to how important it is to create a space where all the players feel comfortable to make mistakes and strive towards becoming one team rather than individual players.”

Her teammates remained a focal point of her experience.

 “Without the constant warmth I received from my teammates I don’t think I would have the confidence to lead our team today,” Dorogusker said.

Dorogusker became a co-captain of the softball team this year along with Cameron Toland and Delaney Ball. Co-captain Toland speaks on Dorogusker’s influence on the team this year. 

“Delaney and I, to be honest, are both very competitive and find ourselves getting angry at our teammates and other players sometimes when they make errors,” Toland said. “Katie has the exact opposite response; she lets her teammates make mistakes and is always there helping them improve their technique with whatever it may be. And she always does it with a smile on her face.”  

Dorogusker’s positive attitude helped to ground the team and keep the game fun and light.

“I think without Katie, our team would be in a totally different position,” Toland said. “Katie balances us out and has a totally positive outlook on everything.” 

Dorogusker’s years being a part of the Paly softball team created many positive memories.

“My favorite memories were on our way to the away games our team would get together and talk about our goals as individuals and as a team, then we would get all hyped, and it was just the moments like that where everybody is smiling,” she said. “[It] made all our struggles worth it. Being a part of a family like that was something that doesn’t come often.”

Dorogusker’s contributions to the Paly softball program have been indelibly valuable to the team culture and overall mood on the field. Dorogusker’s impact on younger players will, without a doubt, inspire leadership of her standard for years to come.