Softball season is in full swing here at Heavener High School. The Lady Wolves have eight returning starters this year, six of which are seniors. One of those seniors is Makenzie Wilson, who has been the starting varsity pitcher her entire high school career. When asked what her personal and team goals were for the season, without hesitation she responded that it was to make it back to the state tournament. With two appearances under her belt already, I think that sounds like a pretty solid target to shoot for.
With our returning team, we aIso have two returning coaches. Coach Cody Luman, who has been the assistant coach for the Lady Wolves for two years, and who started his coaching career here at Heavener. With an extensive baseball background behind him, coaching softball was a huge change. When asked what the major differences were between the two, he said, “Probably the pace of the game. In softball, everything happens at a quicker pace so it demands coaches to be instinctive and make decisions quicker.”
Along with Coach Luman, I got to talk with Coach Rodale Sanders, and ask what his thoughts were about the team so far this season, here is what he had to say: “With my back to back state tournament team all back (except for my center fielder Christian Schiffner) and my 6 senior infielders, this should be one of our best years ever. We have a chance of breaking our single season record of 38-7 set in 2002 (if we don't get any more rainouts). Our goal is not to just make it to the state tournament, but to win that first game and move on to the next round and go from there. This team knows how to win and has over 100 wins since their freshman year. Being the #1 ranked team in Leflore County tells people that we are legit. We are currently ranked #9 in class 3A and hope to reach the top 8 and host a regional tournament this year. This is my 12th year to coach softball at Heavener and these girls make my job a lot easier to go out everyday and compete at a state tournament level. My assistant coaches are a big help and that makes things so much better. It's nice to be able to have them and get their input on things during the games.”
The Lady Wolves are of to a great start this season, and if they keep their heads on and give each game their all- there is no stopping them.
By Christian Schiffner of The Wolf Howls