Lady Spartans have lofty goals
Even though Centennial’s softball team enters the season highly-ranked coming off a loss in the Class 5A Region I semifinals, Lady Spartans coach Shannon Sullivan isn’t worried about the possibility of a target being on their backs.
“I honestly don’t think we have a target on our backs,” Sullivan said.” We don’t look at what might be on our backs, we look forward. We don’t worry about what people might be thinking about us.”
Last season, Centennial posted a 29-5 record and rolled through District 8-5A play at 14-0. The Lady Spartans were swept out of the playoffs by Canyon.
Like the team before them, “Team Seven” as they are called by Sullivan, has its own goals and dreams.
“We have our goals set in mind and if anybody is standing in our way, we are going to do our best to push them out of the way,” Sullivan said. “Every kid works to get better than they were yesterday and that’s all we can expect them to do. And with that mentality, we are going to put the best players on the field and we’ve got even better players sitting on the bench ready to push them out.”
Sullivan said she is excited about the potential on the team.
“We have a few standouts,” Sullivan said. “We are pretty strong everywhere on the field. We have a lot of potential with these younger ones to push the older ones so it’s exciting to see that.”
Sullivan welcomes back eight players who saw action last season and has a new player in five positions.
Pitching for the Lady Spartans will be sophomore Hayley Murrell, a first-team all-district player, senior Crystal Peebles, a second-team all-district performer, and freshman Presley Green. Each pitcher has her own style.
Catching will be junior Macentire Harshbarger. At first base will be either senior first-team Haley Kimberling or senior Ashley Brookman.
The 8-5A player of the year, senior Sydney Friend, is back at second base along with freshman Mackenzie Law. Junior Reagan Ellison returns at shortstop, where she earned first-team 8-5A honors last season.
Seeing time at third base will be newcomer Kaci Arkfeld, a sophomore, and sophomore Karter Hill, who played with the varsity last season.
Three newcomers are in the mix in left field including sophomores Kylee Gowin and Carley Eller and freshman Madison Vaughn.
Junior Gracie Morton, the 9-5A offensive player of the year, is back in center field and senior Marley Eller returns in right field.
“The girls want to win and I’m just here to push them along,” Sullivan said. “Each wants to play at a higher level and I try to push them to play as a team.”
Centennial opens its season Feb. 23 co-hosting the Black-and-Blue Tournament with Burleson. The Lady Spartans open District 9-5A play Feb. 28 hosting Everman.