The Leesville Softball Varsity softball season begins on March 1 and tryouts took place beginning on February 13. Due to a lack of interest, Leesville will only host a varsity team this year. There are 23 students trying out, but the team will retain around 14 girls.
The tryouts do not test only the players’ physical tools, but their mental strength and leadership skills.
The tryouts themselves started with Coach Tadlock giving the players a short speech on what she expected from each of them. “Even the smallest show of strength can put you over someone else,” said Tadlock. “It can all come down to one hit, one helpful comment to someone else.”
Three minutes later, the tryouts commenced.
As the tryouts went on, the players participated in a variety of drills, everything from batting practice to fielding pop flies. Tryouts were led by several other Leesville coaches while Coach Tadlock watched for each tiny nuance of the players tryouts.
Each of the girls is supportive of one another, no matter their age or talent level. “We cheered for the people doing individual exercises,” said Avery Morris, freshman.
After losing five seniors at the end of the 2010-11 season, Coach Tadlock and her team members had no idea what to expect during tryouts.
In the past few years, the softball team has performed well. “We had out best record last year,” said Martha Calvert, senior. “Our goals for the season depend on how the new players are. We’re going to have to rebuild our entire outfield.”
The team does not plan on changing their training schedule in lieu of an almost entirely new team. “We do a lot of fundamental work, and some individual work during the off-season,” said Tadlock.
While the team may be young, they still hope to build on their recent success. “New players will have to come in and step up, and if they can do that, then we should compete for the conference again,” said Calvert.