Despite losing several starters over the last couple of seasons, the Central High Lady Bronchos softball team is hoping to continue their tradition and keep their streak of 11 straight regionals in place.
In the last two years, 11 starters have graduated and still the team has made it to regionals and beyond.
Current head coach Chad Weldon said his team will have one senior and four juniors and the rest of his team is freshman or sophomores. Despite being a young team, he has faith in the Lady Bronchos this year.
“It is Central High, we have a tradition here. We have 11 straight regional appearances and district championships,” Weldon said. “Just by having tradition and the girls expect to win here. I think that we will be able to hit with about anybody and I think we will be able to play defense with about anybody.”
With Weldon confident about the defense and hitting of his team, he said that his team will be looking to fill the pitcher spot with one of the younger girls coming up on the team.
“Our pitching, we have no true pitcher on this team. The pitchers have worked and they are going to sacrifice to be a pitcher this year,” Weldon said. “If we can throw strikes we should be a pretty competitive team, if we don’t throw strikes well we just have to throw strikes.”
The lone senior on the team this year is Faith Robbins. She has been helping the team since the start of two a days practice on July 15 and likes what she sees as a player with experience.
“We have a lot of good potential this year, we are kind of struggling in the pitching department but we have a lot of good girls that have potential if they get out here and work,” Robbins said. “We are really going to have a great season considering last year we kind of fell short, but this year we are going to go further.”
The first set of scrimmages for the Lady Bronchos will start today in Chickasha and then they will head to Duncan next week. Weldon said he will rely on Robbins and the juniors as leaders.
“All of the seniors and juniors will have to step up and be the leaders of this team,” Weldon said. “This is our first scrimmage, we will scrimmage 10 times before season, so hopefully we have everything worked out and once season comes around we are ready to go.”
Leigha Harris has been a big bat for the Lady Bronchos and will be a junior this year. She knows it will be a different team this year but is confident in the potential the team has.
“We are a very young team. It is not the team we had but we have a lot of girls that try hard, we have the potential to do good things,” Harris said. “I just want to see people working hard and trying hard while not giving up on us and just helping each other out whenever one is down.”
As the team comes together, Robbins said that this team has been together since they were young kids and is hoping that transfers into some wins in the season.
“Most of the girls have been together since we were young like 12U and 10U. We have played together and we all know what to expect from each other,” Robbins said. “We have great attitudes towards each other and we all treat each other like family, we are really good to each other.”
Games for this weekend’s Chickasha festival will begin at 10 a.m. this morning against Ninnekah and then another game at 11:05 a.m. against Union City.
While the pre-season begins today and the regular season is around the corner, Weldon said the first week, which features two games and their annual tournament, they are looking to be ready for the season.
“We just want to be coming into season obviously not clicking on all cylinders, but we want to start clicking whenever that first game is and getting better by the end of the week,” Weldon said. “When we play on Saturday I would like to be an even better team than we started on Monday.”
Regular season for the Bronchos begins August 12 on the road against Rush Springs then they will travel to Chattanooga on the 13th before hosting the Red Dirt Classic on August 15-17.