A new sign stands tall just beyond the softball fence. It reads “Welcome to Holly Given Memorial Field.”
On Feb. 19, family and friends of Given gathered with school officials, coaches and players for a special ceremony. With her No. 4 jersey retired, the Coral Shores softball field is now dedicated in her name. Holly, a standout softball pitcher for the Canes, passed away in a tragic murder-suicide in December 2017.
In attendance were Holly’s mom Lucy Doyle Given, brother Jack Given, grandmother Liz Waller, and uncle John Doyle. Joining in the dedication were coach Lesa Bonee and her entire softball team, the baseball team and staff and the lacrosse teams.
Bonee and five senior leaders from her defending conference championship team — Lexy Brito, Jena Jones, Shelby Walker, Emma Lovell and Amaya Dostaler — joined Given’s softball coaches, Paul Grewe and Mike Young in presenting Holly’s jersey, in a decorative shadow box, to the family.
Grewe and Young addressed the crowd and referenced Holly’s unequaled passion for the game, her endearing personality and her four consecutive MVP awards — a distinction that separates her from all other Coral Shores athletes. Bonee spoke of how honored she and her team are to use Holly as a softball role model.
“Our goal as a team will be to live up to the standards established by Holly,” Bonee said.
Another touching moment was the reuniting of Holly’s coaches and softball family. Former teammates who shared in the ceremony included Michelle Sexton, Shelby (Gentes) Price, Lauren Sanchez, Stephanie Lietaert, and Cortney Molnar. The 2008 softball team placed an honorary wreath at home plate.
Special thanks went out to schools superintendent Mark Porter and the entire Monroe County school board for supporting the “naming rights” initiative. Those participating in the celebration included school board vice chair John Dick; executive director of assessment and accountability David Murphy; Coral Shores principal Blake Fry; CSHS assistant principal Kristy Bedell; Plantation Key School Principal Lisa Taylor; and Holly’s softball coach Tracy Dobson.