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IN THEIR OWN WORDS

CHAMPION OF CHANGE

By Allison Smith

When author Lemony Snicket helped write the books titled “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, he did not realize he was describing the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Just like there are 17 books in the whole series, there seems to be just as many problems going on in the world around us; mainly the Coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has had so many negative effects on a global aspect, as well as in our own backyard. Corona has taken many things away from a lot of people, but a softball season doesn’t even compare to losing a family member or loved one. Softball season wouldn’t be the same without family, and community support. If you’ve ever been to a Champion softball game, especially during playoffs, you know how many people come out to support and how huge of an impact the fans make on us players. We as players feed off of their energy. There is no better feeling than knowing your whole community is there supporting you and they will be proud of you no matter what. This is truly what makes Champion so special. IT starts with the escorts out of town by the police and fire departments, and the support of the school administration and teachers. It is a softball town, who is so supportive, caring, and awesome whether it be at the games or at Sparkle Market. 

This Flashes softball team has a deep, rich history with many accolades and state records. During my freshman year, both softball and baseball won a state championship. 

Then we went back to back, not to be outdone by the three-peat we accomplished last year. This year, we had the chance to break the record for most state championships in a single sport, and this fourth year would have had a chance to be one of the few public schools to win four state championships in a row. Going Four for four would be a dream come true. It is something my teammates and I, especially the other seniors on the team have talked about since freshman year. We would have never dreamt about not being able to complete our fourth year due to a health pandemic like the Corona. 

There are five total seniors on this softball team who have all played Champion softball together since we were six years old. As we grew up together, we could not wait to be coached by Coach Weaver and hopefully carry on the Champion tradition and legacy. Coach Weaver gives us the freedom to be and play loose even in the tightest of competition. She is what drives Champion softball to the top year after year. I will never forget the memories of dancing with my teammates to songs like The Wobble, Sweet 

Caroline, and The Cupid Shuffle before the state games. The amount of support we give each other as teammates is one of the biggest reasons these teams are successful. There is a cliche saying that there is “no I in team”, but for us it is true. We always have each other’s backs and this truly makes for a great experience every year. 

Playing softball with these girls is something I will never take for granted. One teammate I am especially close with is Sophie Howell. She is a great player, friend, and teammate who is also a great competitor. She and I combine to make a duo that is able to give our team a chance to win every game. It is always nice to know a pitcher has your back. It is also nice being a pitcher when you know your team is going to score runs. For my entire high school career, we have had great hitters that make scoring runs come natural. The offense is strong one through nine, but it helps when you have batters such as Cassidy Shaffer, Brooke Whitt, and Emma Gumont holding down the fort in the middle of the lineup. Due to the Corona Virus we are not only losing the game of softball, but losing all of our memories outside of the games like pranks, Cracker Barrel runs, sleepovers, and scavenger hunts. This whole situation does not feel real, but when you drive by the softball field and realize you may not be able to play your last year, it hits home.

I wish this virus had never had happened at all like any person right now, but I understand the precautions that need to be and are being taken in order to keep our loved ones safe. In my eyes, no softball game is worth risking the lives of players, coaches, parents, and fans.

 

 

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