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Softball Continues Tradition


The Lady Royals softball squad is aiming to contend for a state title this upcoming season. Head coach Nealan Chandler has less than half of a returning roster, but has confidence in his team.

“We are returning six from a team of 14 last year,” Chandler said. “We are inexperienced. We have eight new people, so it’ll be a challenge getting them used to my coaching style. We have some challenges, but we’ll get better.”

Chandler says that this inexperience will be the hardest thing to overcome, but surmountable.

“Because of our inexperience, we need to come together, and work well together to develop as a team,” Chandler said. “We have a lot of talent, so we hope to continue the tradition that is Prince George softball.”

Junior Laura Thompson sees the passion her teammates have for returning to the field.

“There’s a lot of intensity on the field right now, and I feel that if we keep going the pace we’re going, we could make it states,” Thompson said.

Chandler hopes his girls can keep this same feeling to accomplish the goals he has set for the upcoming season.

“My goal is to win more games than we lose, and ultimately win the Conference 12,” Chandler said.

It will not come easy for this group. Chandler notes that their schedule contains a high degree of difficulty.

“Our out of conference schedule is tough,” Chandler said. “We play a two-time state champion in Atlee.”

With names like Lee-Davis also on the schedule, the Lady Royals will have an uphill battle. Those like sophomore Emily Vinson and senior Alexis Caul, however, are ready for the fight.

“[We’re all] excited. We’re all ready to play,” Caul said.

Thompson says this squad’s greatest strength is their ability to swing.

“Our strengths are definitely our bats,” Thompson said.

Chandler has a strong belief that his squad can go far.

“I do believe we can win our conference title,” Chandler said. “Competing for the regional title is a strong possibility.”

In order for this to happen, with such a large portion of last year’s team gone, Chandler needs this new team to step up.

“Last year’s seniors were very good at making the play or getting the clutch hit we needed to win,” Chandler said. “With this year’s team I hope they learn that if they put PG softball first instead of individual needs, then we can accomplish the goals we’re looking for.”

Thompson believes a step towards this would be for the younger players to talk more on the field to help things run efficiently.

“I hope to see more communication [from the younger players],” Thompson said. “The seniors  [from last year] loved to communicate, but the younger players are more nervous and anxious to communicate, and once they get over that, nothing can stop us.”

Caul hopes the younger athletes play with the same intensity as the former players did.

“[I want to see] their drive, I want to see them appreciate it as much as the older girls,” Caul said.

With the season in its infancy, most players do not know what they hope to take away from it. Thompson stays true to Lady Royals softball tradition and says she wants her team to be a big, happy family.

“One thing that I think we can take away [from the season] is the friendships we make this season,” Thompson said. “Having that allows that family atmosphere to transfer into next season.”

Caul, entering her last season with the Lady Royals, agrees with Thompson.

“I want to have a closer relationship to everyone,” Caul said. “I want the team to bond, the closer the team, the farther they go.”

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