Lady Braves Tie State Record For Consecutive Softball Sectional Wins – What’s Their Secret?

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year for many reasons, but one in particular is – softball season! From the time I was five years old until my senior year in high school, I put on my cleats and picked up my bat each spring excited to start the season. I still do, and always will, love softball. (Even if the only softball action I get these days is our local slow pitch league) :)

There’s just something about the smell of a new glove, the crack of the bats, and the dirt-stained uniforms from a game or practice that always bring back good memories.

THS helmet - Summer House Studios

Photo courtesy of Summer House Studios – Becky Nord Photography

In fact, some of the best memories for me came during tournament time. Beginning this week, teams all across the state of Indiana are going head-to-head on the journey to the state tournament, starting with sectionals.

And today, I have to give a shout out to my high school alma mater, the Tecumseh Lady Braves, because their win last night brought them to 11 CONSECUTIVE sectional wins (2003-2013)! That ties the STATE RECORD in ANY class! What an awesome accomplishment!

2013 Sectional Champs - photo courtesty of Margaret Herrell Patterson on Facebook

2013 Class A Sectional Champs! – photo courtesty of Margaret Herrell Patterson on Facebook

I am also proud to be a part of that journey – playing on the 2004, ‘05, ‘06, and ‘07 teams. My senior year we made it to the state championships and that was one of my overall best sports memories from high school.

DSC08764

Me with the State Runner-Up trophy!

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I was also fortunate enough to get to play with my sister during my senior year. She was a freshman that year and it was exciting to get to play on the same team.

You might be thinking, what’s their secret? How can they keep up the wins for 11 seasons? Some people might say that there isn’t much competition with only four teams in our bracket, but I remember busting our butts to win those titles.

Here’s the secret: sure, we’ve had some great talent come through the program over the years but in sports – as in life – you can’t just rely on talent alone. It takes hard work, hours and hours of practices, and most importantly – GREAT COACHES!

coaches

THS Coaches at 2011 State Championship. This was the only coaches pic I could find quickly, but my shout out and thanks is to ALL the great coaches and assistant coaches from 2003 – 2013!

We never could have made it to State, or reached the accomplishment of 11 consecutive sectional wins, without the help of seriously phenomenal coaches.

And I’m proud to say that some of the things I learned in softball from these coaches made me a better person, and will stick with me for the rest of my life.

Gordon

Gordon Wood – the man from which a lot of this advice came from. He was assistant coach and then took over as head coach my senior year. He has the great ability to recognize talent and potential and works to bring out the best in each of his players. Thanks for all of your support, coaching and advice over the years Gordon!

3 LIFE LESSONS FROM SOFTBALL

“If you’re 5 minutes early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late.”

I’ll admit to being late on some occasions, but I was NEVER late to softball practices or games. Especially as seniors, we were the first ones there and the last ones off the field. Coaches always said if we were late, we were wasting our own time, along with everyone else’s.

“If you’re not covered in dirt, you didn’t work hard enough.”

This means diving for balls, sliding into the bases, and going 110% from start to finish. My parents probably didn’t enjoy doing my laundry during softball season but that dirt on my clothes represented hustle and hard work – and that’s something to be proud of.

“Don’t cut corners!”

I’m sure the coaches said this too, but one specific memory was a senior when I was a freshman, Kathy Wood, who always said this when we were running. It came from practice in the gym running around the basketball court and not to run inside the lines but it’s something that applied to all aspects of the game, and life in general. Everyone is always trying to get ahead in this world but you don’t get any stronger or grow as a person by cutting corners in anything.

Julie, Kathy and Gordon wood

Gordon with his daughters, Kathy (L) and Julie (R) after the 2007 State game. All three are great role models and have worked hard to build the Tecumseh Softball program into what it is today.
(photo courtesy of Kathy from Facebook)

I am thankful to have learned these very valuable life lessons during my years in Tecumseh softball, and I want to thank everyone who has been a part of the THS softball program.  Coaches, players, and even parents – we all worked together, supported each other, and have ultimately reached a tremendous accomplishment – 11 sectional wins!

And to the current Lady Braves – keep these things in mind as you continue in the tournament!  Seniors – be the leaders, inspire your fellow teammates, and listen to your coaches. You are learning from some of the best coaches in the state so don’t take them, or this chance to go to State, for granted!

Congrats to Tecumseh Lady Braves on your win and keep winning so I can come watch you in Indy!

Tecumseh Lady Braves 2011 State Champions

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Posted on May 23, 2013, in My Life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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