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Girls Teams Take Over District

By Devan Fishburne

Senior Ginny Miller throws a strike to end the inning in a match-up against Dinwiddie High School. Miller has started as the Royals pitcher for four years. Photo by Ian Kelty.

Whether sprinting for home plate, putting away a game winning volley, or attacking an opposing striker, this season the Royals varsity girls soccer, tennis, and softball teams showed their fight during the spring sports season to earn first place rankings.

The girls varsity soccer team scored a Central District title for the first time since 1993, and in doing so earned two upset victories over their slightly favored rival, Thomas Dale, for the first time since 1996. The key to the teams success on the soccer field has been staying focused during practice, which has become the most efficient way that they prepare for games.

“A lot of our players have a lot of skill and we don’t goof off during practice,” sophomore stopper Chaelin Magruder said. “We know when to have fun and when to be serious.”

According to Magruder the team has had to make some sacrifices with having some members of the team stepping into positions they wouldn’t normally play because its best for the team. Making sacrifices for the team is a big part of head varsity soccer coach, Kendell Warren’s, philosophy.

“We look at it as ‘if you want to help the team, you have to make sacrifices’,” Warren said.

The sacrifices are often out weighed by the constant motivation to be the best each girl has.

“[What motivates me is] the want to be the best, Warren pushes us every day, and we want to win for each other,” junior outside mid Mandi Cummings said.

The girls soccer team’s record in the first half of the season was an impeccable undefeated record, but a mid-season loss to Thomas Dale looked to be a momentum stopper. The girls soccer team had to rebound in much the same way that the varsity softball team had to bounce back from heart breaking loses to Matoaca and Dinwiddie. After these loses the team’s experience came out and the girls began to set their sights on avenging the upsets they faced.

“We focused and picked up our intensity level no matter who we were playing,” sophomore pitcher Casey Abernathy said.

The softball team used both in district and out of district games to work on key skills that would help them achieve a comeback as well as an undefeated record in the district for the second half of the season.

“I feel like we deserved it because we worked really hard and started focusing on one goal,” Abernathy said.
They say its hard to win a title the first time, but the defense of that title is the hardest road an athlete has to face in his or her career. This lesson is something that the softball and girls’ tennis teams have learned in their triumphant attempts in defending the team titles they earned in 2012.

For the girls tennis team, 2013 meant defending the legacy set by the teams before them. The Prince George girls tennis team has over 20 team titles in the last 30 years to its name, and with experienced leaders and coaches hopes to continue the streak in 2014. The team fought off tough opposition from the Dinwiddie Generals, including a tense late-night match that had to be postponed, but the Royals still snuck out a 5-4 victory to maintain an undefeated record that has lasted since 2011.

“I think it is an awesome feeling because it shows how all our hard work paid off,” senior number one and three time defending singles district champion Melissa Tomlin said.

As the time when conferences replace districts comes near, the Prince George girls soccer, tennis, and softball teams have firmly placed their names in the history books.

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