There’s No Plate Like Home

Softball team prepares to hit dirt running


Addison Dowies

Senior Kenna Hendry stands in left field, ready to make the perfect play should the ball come to her. “This year was my first time playing fall ball for high school,” Hendry said. “It was a good preview of what is to come, not just from our team, but from the teams we are going to play this season. There were ups and downs, but it’s always fun to be out playing softball with your high school teammates.” Many players continued their sport last fall to prepare for this spring.

The 2020 season was ungraciously ripped from the softball team. They had been on a roll, having gone 9-11 overall and 3-2 in districts before the season’s unceremonious ending. From the last school year to the current one, varsity has lost five members, including four seniors, three of which have gone on to play college softball.

“It was definitely disheartening and disappointing to see our season abruptly end,” senior varsity catcher and outfielder Kenna Hendry said. “We had been looking forward to last season in particular because we thought we had a good chance to go far in playoffs, but now we’ll never know.”

Last season’s sharp conclusion comes as a jumping-off point for the players on varsity. Overcoming difficulties has become a natural part of life in a pandemic.

“Having our season cut short last year was really hard, but it’s just given us more motivation for this upcoming season,” senior catcher Makayla Hall said. “It’s motivated me to always go all out because you never know when your last game will be.”

Elevated spirits craving a new season are giddy to have the opportunity after being off for 315+ days. With varsity being led by seniors the potential for greatness is limitless.

“This season I’m hoping to finish first in the district,” Hall said. “We have eight seniors this year, so I’m ready to give it our all and go out strong.”

While understanding the challenges that come along the way, the team has set firm goals and holds high hopes for the future.

“This is my senior season, so of course I’m hoping for the best yet,” Hendry said. “While there are some changes to the lineup this year, I am confident in this team. I don’t want to jinx us, so all I will say is that I think we will be very competitive and have the potential to accomplish a lot.”

Behind every great team is a strong coach and to be a great coach in a time where the unimaginable has happened, one must be willing to improvise and adapt to new obstacles.

“​I’m slowing things down and teaching more,” Head Coach Barry Wilson said. “Quality over quantity. [We’re also trying] different drills.”

The seniors’ devotion to the game has led six players out of the eight to become college commits.

“I will be playing softball at Letourneau University in Longview Texas,” Hendry said. “It’s a Division III school in East Texas. I am beyond excited and can’t wait to get there.”

Hendry’s excitement is mirrored in the attitudes of her fellow teammates as well.

“After I graduate, I’m going to continue my education and softball career at Texas State University,” Hall said. “Eat ‘em up.”

The softball team is ready to show that last year wasn’t a fluke and how much they have improved. Though they’ve lost five extremely skilled players, they’re eager to play and determined to win.

“This season I’m just excited to get to play,” Hendry said. “I love this game more than anything. Nothing gets me more excited than Friday night games and late bus rides. I want to be successful and win every game, but I am just excited to get to go out on the field and play the game I love.”