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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.


Me with the State Runner-Up trophy!


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!


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 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!


“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


GIVE-A-WAY ALERT! Free tickets to the 2013 National Maple Syrup Festival!

maple syrup festival banner

****Give-A-Way contest ended, but still check out the festival info below!*****

DID YOU KNOW that the National Maple Syrup Festival is held right here in Indiana? I had no idea!

This unique annual event is held at Burton’s Maplewood Farm, located near Medora, Indiana. Nestled in the rolling hills of Southern Indiana, festival goers can enjoy the taste of country made hot pancakes with 100% pure Maple Syrup all day every day as well as experience a variety of fun-filled events, activities, Live-music & demonstrations are sure to keep you entertained and coming back for more year after year. Maple Syrup Producers from every maple syrup producing state in America are invited to come and share their version of 100% pure Maple Syrup so get your sweet tooth ready!

And this year, YOU can join them! Thanks to my friends over at and King Arthur Flour, I am giving away 2 free bracelets ($10 value each) for entry to the festival!!

Here’s how to enter:

1. Share this blog with your friends on Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment below with the link to your post.

For more chances to enter:

2. Follow me on Twitter at @Chelsea_PA and post the tweet below. Then leave an additional comment below with the link to the tweet!

“I want to join @Chelsea_PA at #MapleFest13 with @maplewoodfarms, @kingarthurflour and @basilmomma! #maplesyrup #SVChallenge”

3. Subscribe to my blog! Follow it above if you are a wordpress user, or just subscribe via email. Once you follow my blog, leave another comment saying you did that as well.

BEST OF LUCK! The contest will only be open until Monday at noon so don’t miss it!

(Sorry for the short notice, but we have time to mail you the tickets!)

ALSO………….King Arthur Flour is holding the KAF Sweet Victory Challenge recipe contest and you could win!


To enter, create a recipe using pure maple syrup and King Arthur Flour and you could win big! The contest will be held during the National Maple Syrup Festival on March 2nd, 9th. There are two divisions (Adult, Youth), with three Categories (Savory Main Dish, Dessert, Breakfast) for each division. Visit to learn more and enter. HURRY THOUGH! Entries for this are due TOMORROW!


2013 National Maple Syrup Festival

March 2nd & 3rd, 9th & 10th

Burton’s Maplewood Farm

8121 W. County Rd. 75 South

Medora, IN 47260


Children 4 yrs old and under: Free!

Youth (5 to 15 yrs old): $6.00

Adults (16 – 64 yrs old): $10.00

Seniors (65+): $8.00

Cool thing to know! – Donate (1) canned good for a $2.00 discount off. All donated food will be given to area food pantries.

Festival Map:

I will be attending the festival as well so hope you all come and join me!

Check out some more info about the National Maple Syrup Festival in these articles!

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