By Kenny Varner
WINGATE – Every season, it seems that the Bald Eagle Softball team loses talented seniors only to reload the field with more younger talent looking to continue the long standing tradition that ‘IS’ Bald Eagle softball.
Such is the case this season as Bald Eagle loses six players to graduation.
They were Maddie Peters, Kylie Swartz , Meagan King , Mara Hockenberry ,Madison Eckley and Makena Baney.
Once again, the Eagles will be led by veteran coach Don Lucas.
He will be assisted by Varsity coaches Jim Gonder, Mike Thompson , Tony Perry and Josh Eckert.
Managers for this year’s squad will be Morgan Bintter Junior High – Sean Albright ,Josh Quimbly and Jessica Yoder.
Lucas will have plenty of veteran prowess returning from last year’s 17-3 squad.
Returners for the Eagles will be Autumn Tobias, Maddie Perry , Ava Stere , Marina Shawley , Katelyn Smitchko , Kierra Serb , Alyssa King
Shae Housel ,Kendra Uberti , Mackenzie Vozniak , Rachel Bryan , Oliva Boone and Madalyn Smith.
The future and current season prospects are high as the Bald Eagles have a strong group of younger players making their way up the list.
“We have a number of incoming players who could see playing time but it’s way to early to speculate on that,” said Lucas. “I can tell you who they are : Taylor Johnson , Gabrielle Perry , Kailey Eckert ,Juliana Pifer , Sierra Albright , Mackenzie Seese , Rylee Hockenberry , Alexa Baney , Taylor Habovick and Sydney Thompson.”
So far for the Eagles the season has started nicely.
“ They are going very well, a lot of energy and we have had great leadership from our older players,” said Lucas.
Veteran leadership will be one of the strengths Lucas sees his team having coming into the season.
“Our strengths are our Experience at some key positions. Leadership and guidance from the veterans with our younger players,” added Lucas.
Seniors and some underclassman have stepped up.”
The group has not let any stone unturned in its preparation in its practice sessions.
“We are working all phases of the game. There has never been a season where we could assume that any part of our game does not have to be reviewed and drilled numerous times,” said Lucas. “I’m old school so throwing correctly and playing catch is never taken for granted. If you can’t throw or catch … pretty much can’t play!”
The goals are the same this season as every other year.
“We made the Same goal every season,” said Lucas. “Do as well as we can in the Mt. League trying to put ourselves in the position to do well in the District 6 tournament and advance to the State tournament.”
“Each goal comes with an obvious commitment from coaches to players. Everyone has their weight to pull and the responsibility to put their teammate on their back to reach those goals.Never taking a play off.
According to the veteran coach is there will be no easy team on this schedule for his Eagles.
“Every team in our league has the ability to win the league. I don’t see an easy “W”,” said Lucas. “You need to bring your “A”game to every playing date.”
In the fist game of the season Bald Eagle hosts rival Bellefonte March 29th at 4:30.