Highland softball eager for new season, revamped region
Apr 11, 2018 11:19AM
By Josh McFadden
Every new season offers a fresh start, and the Highland softball team is optimistic as the 2018 schedule gets underway.
The Rams competed in Class 4A’s Region 5 last season, finishing sixth in the seven-team region with a 2-10 record. Highland picked up league victories over winless Ogden and went 4-19 overall.
Highland will see some new opponents this season as it moves to Region 6. With the creation of Class 6A, Highland is now a member of Class 5A and faces what head coach Jenny Hardy acknowledges is “a challenging region.”
Still, Hardy wants her team to put forth a strong effort and stand toe to toe with the competition. She said some pieces are in place to help her team improve on last year’s showing.
“I am expecting the team to work hard and work on competing,” she said. “[The players] have their work cut out for them. However, we have a lot of good athletes and a strong group of leaders that will make the team a good thing to be a part of.”
Centerfielder Shannon Lambson and first baseman Lauren Brown are the senior captains for the Rams. Hardy will rely on them heavily for leadership on and off the field.
“They are fantastic people and athletes,” she said. “I am excited to see the team under their leadership. We also have a lot of new and returning talent—they are a great group of athletes. I am very excited about our new players as well.”
Hardy enters the season with lots of new faces—not only to the team but to the game of softball all together. Though this presents some tests, it also provides opportunities for progress and for the girls to develop skills and display their natural abilities.
“I am excited to see our new talent develop,” Hardy said. “The majority of our team has never played softball before, but they show a lot of promise and athleticism. I am excited to see them grow and learn. We have two freshman varsity players that are fantastic, and I am excited to see them continue to grow.”
While every coach would love to have a team stocked with all-stars and future college players, there are other attributes a team needs to be successful. What the Rams may lack in experience and on-the-field accolades, Hardy is pleased with some of the other traits her girls bring to the squad.
“Our strengths are our student leaders and our attitudes,” she said. “This is seriously a great group of girls. Many of them are heavily involved in student government and other major groups at Highland, and that’s exactly the kind of player that I want. They are good people, and they are hard working and dedicated.”
The lingering winter has made it difficult for the team to get in sufficient practice time. With new and inexperienced players, it critical to have as much instruction as possible. She knows the players must practice with dedication and push on through the challenges ahead.
Hardy is also working diligently to raise funds for her team. She said the team lacks resources, and it needs to replace worn-out equipment. She encourages community members to donate through the school treasurer if they’re able.