News Column

Multi-faceted Dennis rounding into form for Hazelwood West

August 8, 2014

By Jim Faasen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Aug. 08--Roxane Dennis likes to keep busy.

Be it softball or soccer. Or local drama productions. The Hazelwood West senior is always on the go.

"I'm very lucky to be able to play (sports) and be in musical theater," Dennis said. "It's a blessing that I have parents who help me and allow me to do everything I do."

While Dennis' blessings have included a starring role as Ariel Moore in the Florissant Civic Center production of Footloose this summer, she has proven to be quite a blessing to the Hazelwood West softball program as well.

As a junior, Dennis hit .471 with 16 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 24 RBI for the Wildcats (17-9), who won both Suburban North Conference and district titles.

"Roxane has that dedication and she is always working hard," West coach Erica Barnes said. "She is an extremely powerful hitter. She is so solid defensively, and on the bases she is extremely fast. She is an offensive threat as well as a defensive threat."

While Dennis formed a nice one-two punch with Alex Linck last season, more of the responsibility will fall on her shoulders this season. And that's fine with Dennis.

"I feel like there's a little more pressure just because there aren't a lot of seniors and there's not a lot of people who have been on varsity since freshman year like me and Tricia Hefner," Dennis said. "It's a little more pressure, but I'm sure I'll do fine."

Even though she expects a certain measure of nerves going into this season, Dennis said that -- much like a drama production -- butterflies can be a good thing.

"I'm always nervous going into a game because I want to give 110 percent," Dennis said. "Pressure sometimes helps. It helps you try harder. I feel nervous before theater productions, too. The main difference is that, with a play, you have three performances to worry about. In softball, there's a whole season."

For Barnes, the coaching butterflies will be significantly decreased thanks to the presence of Dennis.

"Roxane was a leader last year, so I think this year will be an easy transition for her to fill that role," Barnes said. "She is amazing on and off the field because she will do anything that you ask her to do."

Dennis is looking forward to the upcoming campaign, even though there are several questions for West, which lost five seniors.

"This is my last year, so I'm going to push it to my limits," Dennis said. "I'm gong to do my best and I'm going to encourage all of the others on the team. We have some good talent coming up as well and I believe we can do it again. All we have to do is believe in ourselves."

Dennis is looking forward to her final season.

"Hopefully, I will be going to Brigham Young University in Hawaii," she said. "I just recently had tryouts for soccer and softball and I made both teams. Now, I just have to get into school. I have to take my ACT in September and, hopefully, I will be accepted."

You can e-mail Jim Faasen at and follow him on Twitter at @JimSTLhss.


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Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

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