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GCHS seniors end time on softball diamond

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By Ryan Naus

When the Grant County High School softball team’s season came to an end, the team’s seniors still took pride in knowing that they played their hardest while representing Grant County.

“It meant a lot to play for Grant County. When I first came into the program, we weren’t the best by any means, but we became known as a powerhouse,” Alesa Collinsworth said. “We made our mark and were part of a team that made a difference and turned the program around.”

“I love playing for Grant County and I love Grant County,” Edwards said.

Collinsworth teamed with Kara O’Connor, Sara Edwards and Kaitlyn Bingaman to help the Lady Braves since they all started in the regional championship their freshman year.

“It was a big deal,” Bingaman said.

“My favorite memory was when we made it to the regional finals my freshman year. It was the only time we ever made it,” Collinsworth said.

Due in part to the bonds that the seniors formed over the course of their softball careers, they believe that this team was the closest team they’ve played on.

“We’re joined at the hip,” O’Connor said.

“A little too close sometimes,” Collinsworth said. “This year’s team was the closest team I’ve ever been on. I miss them when I don’t get to see them everyday.”

The girls were also excited that their long time coach Ott Reed returned from a year away from the dugout to coach them during their final season.

“It was amazing,” O’Connor said. “We wanted him to come back, but we want him to be healthy. He likes the challenge of us.”

“It was probably the highlight of our season,” Collinsworth said. “That’s all I wanted. I didn’t care about anything as long as I got my coach back because that was my coach. He knows us each individually. To have a coach that was that close to us was the most amazing thing. He’d just sit and talk to us about what was going on. No matter what it was, he knew what was wrong. He’s the nicest guy.”

“He’d do anything for any of us,” Bingaman said.

The girls wish they could keep playing for the Lady Braves, but also believe in the younger players that will still play for Grant County.

The seniors believe that Katelyn Roy, Hannah Thacker, Macy Wright and Samantha Perry will be good and are looking forward to seeing Madison Goderwis return from an injury that ended her junior season.

“The team has a solid pitcher and solid defense,” Collinsworth said. “I’d say watch out.”

New challenges await the girls as they move on from GCHS, but they will still miss the connections they have made.

“I kept saying that I was so excited to get out of here, but I enjoy walking the halls and knowing everyone. Being able to walk up to a teacher and give them a high five. I’m going to miss high school. When softball ended, I knew high school was ending soon, but I’m ready for something new,” Collinsworth said.

Advice:

O’Connor - “Just have fun and enjoy it. Not just softball, but high school. Make the most of it.”

Collinsworth - “You may be a sophomore now, but you’ll be a senior quickly. It’s not about individual stats. It’s about the team.”

Edwards - “It’s never just one person’s fault. Stay close with your teammates.”

Bingaman - “Stay as close as we were and keep the tradition alive.”