The 2018-2019 athletic season is drawing to a close, and this week’s News-Telegraph Athlete of the Week honors two softball seniors who have been with the program for five years.

Baylee Newell and Karsyn Rush were part of four regional final appearances for the Trojans, making state in 2016 and 2018 to go along with regional runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2017.

After Wednesday’s heartbreaking season-ending loss to Carroll Kuemper, coach Terry Hinzmann had great things to say about his two leaders, their hard work and dedication to the game.

Rush joined the Atlantic softball program as an eighth grader, as a transfer from Griswold. “She hopped right into the program. She’s fast, speedy put pressure on the defense. She’s just a fantastic girl as well,” said Hinzmann. Rush has enrolled at the University of Iowa, to major in speech pathology.

As for Newell, Hinzmann said of his shortstop, “She’s been pretty much a smart player” whose speed will be hard to replace. She’s heading to Kansas University, where she is expected to major in political science and psychology.

Both were among this year’s leaders in major statiscial categories. Newell averaged 0.466, while Rush was 0.408, and both combined for 47 RBIs. And both were all-Hawkeye Ten Conference mentions several years running.

Newell is in the Iowa Coaches All-Star Game, as a member of the Blue Team, of which Hinzmann is a coach. That game is July 29 in Des Moines.

To reach Brian Rathjen, send correspondence to or phone (712) 243-2624.