SAN DIEGO -- Rachel Wright has returned to the softball diamond as head coach at La Costa Canyon High School after life threw her a nasty curveball last April.
"The day after Easter I had one seizure and that's what caused them to look at me and see what was going on. I went to the hospital, they did tests on me and they found a tumor in my head," Wright told FOX 5.
Doctors diagnosed her with stage three brain cancer in the form of Anaplastic astrocytoma, forcing her to step down as head coach of the LCC softball team.
"I tried pushing through practice, through games and everything, as much as I could. But unfortunately, I couldn't do everything I wanted to do," Wright said.
But she's getting closer. Last spring the 32-year-old underwent successful surgery, removing 95% of the tumor, which continues to diminish. And she has returned as the Mavericks' head coach.
"I'm just going to continue to stay positive," Wright said. "I don't ever want to be that person that's like, 'I'm going to leave, it's my time.' Of course I've thought about that, but I'm upfront and honest about things. I don't want anyone to ever think I'm broken and I don't have what it takes to do things. I just continue my life and push on."
"I'm super excited to have her back," said senior middle infielder Kelly Nutter. "It's helped with our team chemistry. It's nice to have her on the field this time and not through the phone on Facetime."
The Mavericks admit not having their coach last season was tough. The team finished below .500, juggling three different coaches who filled in during Wright's absence.
"Emotionally it was really rough," Nutter said. "We did have a few disputes between each other ... but we all kind of realized, 'Our coach is sick, it's a pretty rough time,' so we just helped each other out, tried to pick each other up. I think in the end it helped bring us together."
Wright played softball and graduated from LCC in 2005. Now she enters her third year as head coach optimistic that a positive attitude can bring forth a bright future.
"We actually have a 'can't jar' with her: We are not allowed to say 'can't'," Nutter explained. "We either put money in the jar or we do burpees."
"It helps me move things on, having a great attitude," Wright said. "I'm a tough coach, I'll be honest. I'm going to push them through things between softball, working out, building themselves up. Attitude is everything."
Spoken like someone who knows what a difference attitude can make.