The Keller Central softball players are a force to be reckoned with. Statistics show that the team is only 6-12 this season and 1-4 in district play. However, the Lady Chargers have overcome obstacles on the field to become strong leaders athletically, while leading the way academically and in the community.
“We have a very intelligent team,” said head coach Kimberly Reed. “2013-2014 has been the year to recognize their accomplishments.”
The team’s roster boasts a veritable who’s-who of student leadership, including National Honor Society members and the NHS president, four Academic All-State players, the Student Council president and the leader of the Drum Line.
Players also sing in the choir, are Partners in PE representatives, are in theater and on the All-Region bowling team. Outside of school, several of the girls are youth leaders in their respective churches and many have been offered scholarships by schools like Princeton, Baylor, University of Oklahoma, McLennan and Cedar Crest.
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“Being busy is always what is going on with them,” Reed said. “They give full effort to the organizations and people they deal with on a daily basis, whether they are inside or outside the classroom.”
On the field, their leadership skills and versatility serve them well.
“Four people are playing their positions from last year and the rest of the team had to pick up the slack from losing our seniors from last year,” Reed said. “Our team is comprised of seven seniors and six underclassmen that work hard to build off of those who have been here before. They do not judge or envy. They work hard to make themselves and their teammates better each day.”
Having players who navigate busy schedules and transition to new activities frequently has helped the Lady Chargers on both sides of the plate this year.
“Our strength offensively has been our ability to make adjustments at the plate,” Reed said. “If we are successful, we learn from that at-bat. If we are unsuccessful, we approach our next at-bat with a new goal.”
Defensively, Reed said the focus is the same.
“We lost our shortstop and third baseman to graduation last year, so new leaders had to emerge, and they have. Each one plays a different role, and no one person is more important than the next. Without each of them our team does not run as smoothly as it does.”
There have been a number of good plays this season, including some diving catches and big hits. It is the bigger lessons they are learning, and the legacy the many seniors are leaving for the underclassmen that impress Reed most.
“How you will be remembered, and your reputation now and in the future will be made through the decisions you make now,” she said. “The message they leave is that a lot can be done but you have to choose what is most important and apply yourself fully and completely to be the best you can be at all times.”
The Lady Chargers next face Northwest High School at home on Tuesday, played after the press deadline, but Reed is already looking far beyond the next game.
“I can truly say these players have made a difference at Central High School and will make a difference in the future with whomever they come in contact.”