By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
It was a full-circle moment for the Trotter family on Thursday.
Zoe Trotter, the youngest of the three Trotter siblings and a senior at St. Joseph Central, signed her national letter of intent to play softball at Division I University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Tommies are head coached by none other than Jen Bagley-Trotter - Zoe's stepmom and Missouri Western's former softball coach of 20 years.
"Zoe has been in my dugout since she was little," Bagley-Trotter said. "I was looking through pictures (Thursday) morning of her in the dugouts and on road trips with us. I've missed her the last couple of years being there. So, it'll be great to be able to spend the next four (years) with her, back where she belongs."
Zoe, a shortstop and outfielder, is a four-time all Greater KC Suburban Conference and four-time all-district honoree. She also earned all-region accolades for two years and is a member of the Missouri academic all-state team.
Continuing her athletic career in this manner,Zoe says, is quite special. She took the recruiting process one step at a time, playing in front of college coaches during the summer while playing for her Select FastPitch 18U team.
"Ultimately, with how much my travel team plays in the summer, I just went out and did the best I could every tournament," Zoe said. "So that coaches could see the best of me and see what they could get. Slower (process) for me, but ended up in a great place. Where I want to be."
Zoe was head coached in her senior season at Central by Buzz Verduzco - a long-time friend of the Trotter family and Missouri Western's baseball coach from 2000-2023.
"We had a lot of fun," she said of the past season. "We have a dollar jar for (Buzz) for anytime he said 'baseballs' instead of 'softballs.' It was a lot of fun in the season, getting the girls to open up to him as well and everybody knowing what he was about and what our program was going to be about. I can't say enough on how thankful I am for him."
"That made my heart so happy," Bagley-Trotter added, when she knew Verduzco took the Central job. "Not only because I know Buzz had her best intentions in mind, but Buzz is smart and is good at all of the things that (Zoe) needed extra work on. She got coached in a way this fall that she really needed."
It's something of a home stretch in St. Joseph for the Trotter family. The eldest, Quentin, is currently a junior at Missouri Western. Camille is currently in school at the University of Iowa and Zoe will be the third and final Trotter sibling to graduate from there this spring.
Bagley-Trotter took the St. Thomas job in 2021 after two successful decades as the head coach of Griffon softball, where she racked up an MIAA record 676 wins.
She expressed gratitude to Central athletic director David Lau, who hired Regi to be the Indians' head football coach back in 2018.
All-in-all, a long and memorable run for a family that gave all they had to give to sports in the city.
"It's been over 20 years that we've been here," Bagley-Trotter remarked, perhaps a bit teary-eyed. "This community has done a lot to help us raise three really great humans. The school (Central) has provided a lot of support and good people around us."
"We've got people coming to us in hallways, kids at the school who just say 'hi' to us everyday," Zoe noted. "We may not have class with them, or don't know who they are, but they know who we are and enjoy being around us at least a little bit."
"We think that's really special. Obviously, (Regi) had a super special last year of coaching (football finishing 7-3), which is super special for us."
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyKFEQ and St. Joseph Post @StJosephPost.