Softball squad looks to repeat as district champions
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Grayling High School’s varsity softball team has low overall numbers this year, but almost all of its players were on the squad at the end of the year last season when the Vikings won a district championship.
The softball program for GHS has 24 players this year – 12 on varsity and 12 on junior varsity. The varsity team has seven seniors, three juniors, and two sophomores.
“Eleven were on the team at the end of the year when we won districts,” Coach Mark Golnick said. “Four of those girls were all-district.”
Prior to the program’s first official practices of the 2018 season on Monday, March 12, several players took park in offseason open gyms to get ready for the year. Coach Golnick said the offseason work had solid participation.
Coach Golnick said early practice sessions went well and it’s been a benefit to have the group’s “senior leadership.”
“I have a big number of seniors. This is my fourth year. These kids get what I’m trying to do with the program,” Coach Golnick said.
The team has a few position battles to settle before the season.
“We’ve got some key areas to find out who’s going to be there,” Coach Golnick said.
What are some of the squad’s strengths, other than experience?
“It’s a very athletic group. It might be one of the fastest we’ve had. Very coachable,” Coach Golnick said. “Work ethic is real good.”
Coach Golnick said winning the district tournament last year “really helped” because the girls were able to get a taste of winning, and they’re motivated to have that feeling again.
Team goals? Have success during the regular season, repeat as district champions.
“You want to win every game, or at least compete in every game. Top three conference, win a district, compete at the regional tournament,” Coach Golnick said.
Coach Golnick expects the Lake Michigan Conference to be a challenge again this year with several strong teams.
“It’s going to be a tough league,” Coach Golnick said.
“As long as we stay healthy we have the opportunity to win close to 20 games this year,” Coach Golnick said.
The first scheduled doubleheader of the 2018 season for the varsity softball team is slated for Thursday, April 5, at 4:15 p.m. at Kingsley High School. The squad’s home opener is currently slated for Monday, April 9, at 4:30 p.m. vs. Gaylord St. Mary.