The Byron Nelson softball team started found its inaugural season in Class 6A to be a successful one, claiming the fourth and final playoff spot in a tough softball district.
Coach Kathy Schoettle said that it has been a productive off-season to this point, but added that her team does have a lot to work on before the start of next year.
“As soon as the season ends, we go right into our off-season, which is lifting and running,” Schoettle said. “Essentially, we’re looking to gain strength and also get faster.”
Nelson returns all but two players from its 16-7 team from last season, which also went 9-5 overall in district competition.
Schoettle said that the off-season is broken down into sections, and said that after summer workouts are complete, the next portion will start almost as soon as her athletes get back to school.
“Over the summer, we bring in a group called Performance Course, and the kids work out over the summer with them,” Schoettle said. “Once we are back to school, we hit the road full speed ahead. We start the second day. The first day, we issue lockers, and the second day we start working out.”
The good news for Lady Bobcats supporters is that most of the players participate in select softball.
Schoettle said that with the loss of just two players from last year’s team, the attitude is upbeat.
“We are returning eight players to our team,” Schoettle said. “The mood is good. I think the kids believe that we can do more than we actually did this past year. Buying into that is a big step. People were kind of concerned about the move up to 6A, but we just tried to remind the kids that it’s softball. You’re going to hit, you’re going to throw, you’re going to run – the game doesn’t change; softball is still softball. They just need to have the belief that they can match up with anybody.”
Schoettle said she expects her two all-state selections, Chelsie McClure and Cami Conrad, to be among the team leaders this season, and said as far as who else will play a leadership role is concerned, it really comes down to who is willing to step up for Nelson.
“We’re going to be a senior-loaded class,” Schoettle said. “We are going to have six seniors returning next year. So we have talked about things like leadership with such a strong group, and it is hard to speculate who is going to be your leaders offensively and defensively. It’s just who can be consistent on a nightly basis.”