Emma Frey | @_emmafrey_
Following the success of the 2019 season, the Charger softball team was hoping to win another state championship this spring. Unfortunately, due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, the season was cut short.
The team had many exciting changes to look forward to this year, including Joe Dee Tarbutton’s first year as head coach. Tarbutton said he looked forward to a state championship with the team this year. He was also looking forward to “coaching a very talented team with Coach Oliver and Coach Eck.”
Senior Autymn Schreiner hoped to find success with the team as her high school career came to a close. “I expected to make a run for another state championship. We had a lot of solid girls return from last year and I thought a couple of the freshmen were going to make big impacts on the team,” Schreiner said. What she misses most is her teammates. “I was looking forward to playing my last season with some of the girls I’ve played with since I was 8,” Schreiner said, “I was excited to have one last season with them and even some new teammates and for it all to just get thrown away is heartbreaking.”
This season was expected to be a crucial year for several players, including juniors Reagan Kelley and Ilyana Tertzanlis. Kelley, who played a successful role on the team as a freshman, hoped to return strong following an injury that prevented her from playing last year. “I expected this season to be really good. We had a lot of athletes that would have brought lots of great things to this team. I feel like we could have won state again,” Kelley said, “I was looking forward to the new coaching staff and playing an amazing season with everyone.”
Tertzanlis, a foreign exchange student from Germany, looked forward to being a part of the team this spring. “I was looking forward to everyday practices and just improving and playing on the same team as my friends,” Tertzanlis said. She hopes to see the current juniors setting the same good examples she saw from the seniors next year. “I miss the game most of course, and just being on the field and hitting on actual pitchers.”
Although this season didn’t go as planned, there is still plenty of opportunity for the team next year. “I really need the juniors and seniors to be great leaders. The sophomores will need to step up and in quick. We really should compete very well,” Tarbutton said. “I hope to see some of the underclassmen stepping up,” Schreiner said, “I also hope to see them get back to the state tournament so they can experience the state atmosphere and traveling with the team just like I got to.”