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Randee Romero
ASU Student Journalist

Peterson returns home to Red Mountain softball staff

April 2, 2021 by Randee Romero, Arizona State University

The Red Mountain softball team on media day before the start of their 2021 season. (Picture provided by Rich Hamilton)

Randee Romero is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Red Mountain High School for

Red Mountain alumnus Breanna Macha Peterson made her way back home as part of the Red Mountain softball coaching staff this season. Peterson joined both her former coach Rich Hamilton and former teammate Siera Phillips to pick up a winning tradition they had years before.

Peterson pitched for Red Mountain from 2011-2014 and the Mountain Lions won the state championship all four years. She was named Gatorade player of the year in 2014 and then moved on to play collegiate softball at Arizona State University. 

“She’s got to be one of the best high school pitchers ever,” Hamilton said. 

Peterson was always drawn to being near home. She chose ASU because it was her dream to play at the next level while still at home.

“I didn't want to be away from my family," she said. "They had done so much for me in my career that I felt like I owed it to them to stay here. I wouldn't have had it any other way. I wanted to be the homegrown player.”

After playing at ASU for four years and completing her bachelor’s degree, Peterson moved on to be a pitching coach at the University of New Mexico for two years.

“It's total full circle," Peterson said. "From just starting here at Red Mountain to being that homegrown player going to ASU, and then leaving out of state I just knew I wanted to be back home.”

Peterson enjoyed the competitive environment and winning tradition that Red Mountain provided her as a player. Having the opportunity to be a part of that environment made her excited to return as a coach this season. 

“I have so much pride in this program. I get goosebumps thinking about it," she said. "There's no other place I'd rather coach than here.” 

“It’s nice having Bre here again because it’s another person to remind me that we did that back then and that can still happen here again," Phillips said. "We feed off of each other.”

Phillips also returned to Red Mountain as a coach after completing her years of collegiate softball at the University of Arizona in 2016. 

“Back then I wouldn’t have expected them to come back," Hamilton said, "but I got excited when the conversations about them joining happened because I knew they would do a good job.” 

Peterson learned to carry her passion for playing softball into coaching.

“I’ve grown up and learned to separate my emotions in a way," she said. "When I was playing on the field I would get angry and now as a coach I'm more understanding.” 

Hamilton thinks that Peterson’s playing style matches her coaching style.

“She’s always been very intense," he said. "She was when she played and she is now. She doesn’t stand for mediocrity."

The passion doesn’t run short for the dedicated Red Mountain coaching staff.

“The game flows through us," Phillips said. "My passion for the game is so different now, you’re a role model to these kids and it’s not just about what you want to get done.” 

“Their passion makes them good people," Hamilton said. "Makes them do what they do now. To be teachers and to be coaches.” 

Returning to Red Mountain was a comforting experience for Peterson.

“This is the game I've played my whole life and coaching is what I love to do, and doing it alongside people I've known my whole life just makes it that much more sweet.” Peterson said.

Peterson was a perfect fit for the Red Mountain coaching staff.

“She’s settling in great," Hamilton said. "She coached at college level in New Mexico and she had to come to a realization that these aren’t college players and we have a few players we still need to coach up. Now she knows what these kids need.” 

“When she joined it really evened everything out and we were able to focus on one thing and we trust each other's decisions. It’s making us better as a staff in the long run.” Phillips said.

The homegrown player felt like being back as a coach and teacher for Red Mountain was the perfect landing spot.

“I feel fulfilled being here. I’m getting emotional because it’s just total full circle. I feel like my cup is filled,” Peterson said. 

The Mountain Lions are currently sitting at 5-3 overall and 4-0 in their region. They will play at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Westwood (0-7).