It’s hard to imagine, but before you know it, softball season will be here once again for area high school teams.
With opening day set for Aug. 7, coaches are starting to make preparations and organizing schedules for the upcoming season.
The Duncan Lady Demons will begin practice July 28, with scrimmages at home on Aug. 2 and 3. The annual Alumni Game will be Aug. 4.
The Lady Demons welcome Noble for the opening game of the regular season.
“A lot of the girls have been playing games this summer,” Duncan coach Robert Cowan said. “Four of my starters played anywhere from 50 to 100 games over the past couple of months. The girls know what to expect as far as offense and defense, our biggest thing is getting the girls some live pitching and hitting during practice.”
After clinching a district championship last season, expectations are still high for the Lady Demons. But, with Lawton MacArthur, Altus and Chickasha lurking in the background, coach Cowan said he considers another team to be under the most pressure this season.
“It’s no secret we expect to compete for a district championship,” he said. “But make no mistake about it there are some good teams in our district. We probably weren’t the favorites last year when we won district. This season though, I feel Chickasha might be considered the favorite.”
For the Lady Bronchos, preparations for the season will be all about getting back to basics.
After a successful summer league season, head coach Chad Weldon and his squad are looking to stay healthy and improve before their season opener against Bray-Doyle.
“Whenever we start practicing, we’re going to basically cover the fundamentals,” Weldon said. “We do this because when your in season, there’s no time to go over them since there are so many games being played.”
CHHS will be returning six seniors for the upcoming season, and the roster will also be bolstered by the return of sophomore Keena Huffman, who suffered a severe leg injury during a slow pitch game against Fletcher in May.
“Keena will be cleared on July 21 and be able to return in time for the season,” Weldon said. “I’ve got a solid group of seniors and underclassmen ready to play. We feel this is one of our best chances to make a run and we intend to do so.”
While most area teams have been taking some time off during the summer, that’s not the case for the Comanche Lady Indians.
After graduating multiple seniors from last season’s squad, head coach Chris Dobbins knew he would be inheriting a young group of players for the 2012 season.
His solution? Practice, practice, practice all summer long.
“We’re a very young team, and I knew we needed to make some growth,” Dobbins said. “I think for the most part we’ve put some of the growing pains behind us to an extent. But, these girls won’t fully be able to grasp what I’ve been telling them until we start the season.”
Comanche will open the regular season against a state qualifier from last season in Fletcher on the road.
While some people might feel the extra practice is a definite advantage for a squad, Dobbins said he thinks it can go either way.
“I’m not sure if it can be classified as a real advantage,” he said. “I knew before school was out that I was going to have a young team with things we needed to work on. Our pitching and hitting should be better though. The girls have seen a lot of live pitching and hitting, which will only benefit them when the season starts.”