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The Better Team

January 23, 2012
By Koty Hutson of Centralia High School Activities

    Guess you could say there is a first time for everything, or at least this is true for the Centralia Panther softball team. On October 20, the 2011 softball team left for the state softball competition that was held in Springfield, Missouri. The high school students lined the hallways to send them on their way, and the CBMS, CIS, and CES students--with posters in hand--lined the roads to cheer for the team as they left town.
     The team had to play two games and win them both in order to become the champions. So, that is what they did. The girls left on Thursday, October 18, for Springfield.  They played the semifinal game on Friday and the championship game on Saturday.  Then, the team brought the state championship trophy home on Saturday night.  Now, most people in our small town may not find this to be a big surprise because of how well the softball team played this season; however, they may find it surprising to know that the girls from the 2011 softball team brought home the first state championship trophy Centralia High School has ever seen from softball.
    When Coach Angell was asked if she expected to go this far, she said, “Absolutely not. It’s always a goal, but sometimes it’s just a dream.” In order to accomplish this goal, the team put in a lot of time and hard work. Starting in seventh grade, they work with wonderful coaches to obtain the skills necessary to become great softball players. Once they reach high school, the girls participate in summer leagues and camps. In the end, all the time they put into the sport paid off for them.
    The group of girls on the 2011 softball team was definitely unique. The team had the strengths of speed, base running, and hitting. Their focus, however, was “communication” and “teamwork.” It also helped to have incredible senior leadership from Jennifer Mills, Morgan Creel, and Sydnae Hatton. With their communication and teamwork, the girls won conference, districts, sectionals, quarterfinals, and state. They gladly took it all.
    Before every game, Coach Angell would tell the girls that “when we leave this field I want there to be no doubt in anyone’s mind about who’s the better team.” As of now, with the state trophy in hand, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind who’s the better team.

Go to our video gallery on the main page to view the senior softball interviews.

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