The Central High Lady Bronchos softball team joined the lineup of schools and districts across Oklahoma preparing for the upcoming 2020 season despite COVID-19 and having a player test positive for the virus this week.
Lady Bronchos softball coach Chad Weldon said they received the confirmation Thursday evening and have since gone on lockdown for the remainder of this week and all of next week.
Weldon confirmed one of the players tested positive. Now, Weldon works with the Health Department to make sure this is the only case in their team.
He said the team will look to resume just in time for the season opener, but he’s keeping an eye out on the possibility of moving it if need be.
“Hopefully not. We are just going to keep it and see how everything goes,” Weldon said.
The Lady Bronchos began practice July 15 and have taken part in two-a-days when it comes to practicing as well as in scrimmages to prepare for 2020.
Weldon said he will rely on two seniors in Leigha Harris and Tatum Schulte to lead the team with Harris coming back from an injury in her junior season.
“Leigha Harris is a senior and is coming back from an ACL injury and she is 100% recovered and she is one of the best hitters in Class A by far,” Weldon said. “She will be playing shortstop for us and then I got another senior, Tatum Schulte, who started for us and she is one of our top hitters as well.”
Along with the two seniors, Weldon said there’s someone in each class who will contribute for the Lady Bronchos. The expectation is pretty high this year for them.
“We have a lot of young talent there and our pitcher will be a freshman and we have good hitters in each class and we have good defenders in each class,” Weldon said. “We are expecting more than what we did last year.”
Harris, like Weldon said, will play the starting shortstop. She said she loves the Lady Bronchos’ team as a whole and is excited to see what their team will bring this year.
“I will say this year we definitely have a strong bond. All of us are very close and we are very good friends,” Harris said. “We can criticize each other and nobody thinks twice about it and I think we will do big things.”
She also agrees that Weldon’s expectations are huge for the Lady Bronchos and Harris said they are sticking to their team motto for 2020.
“Coach Weldon has very high expectations for us this year,” Harris said. “He expects us to do great things … and to play great on the field … ‘no excuses,’ that is our team motto this year — there is to be no excuses.”
The goal every year for Harris is to compete for a state championship. She said the excitement is there for the 2020 season.
“I think that is the goal for every year. You shouldn’t ever not expect to do great,” Harris said. “I am very excited and we have had scrimmage, but I think we will have a great season this year.”
Weldon said they stay hard at work for the 2020 season and despite not having any prep the last two weeks before season, he believes his team will be ready.
“We went hard since July 15. We have had a lot of days where we have had two-a-day practices and we have had two scrimmages with one set of scrimmages rained out this week and then we were supposed to have eight games this coming week which we won’t be able to play those,” Weldon said. “With this bunch of girls … I know they will during this lay off … at home and they will take to hitting at home. They will play catch and kind of keep everything going for them.”
Currently, the Lady Bronchos season will debut at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at home against Rush Springs unless that gets pushed back by the teams.