The hearts behind home plate

A story of resilience and passion


SV Softball

The softball team poses before the 2019-2020 season. The team was 13-6 before COVID-19 shut down the season.

Tim Tschoepe, Sports Editor

As the sun fades in the Texas hill country, high school sports teams have to go on without a season. One of those teams is the softball team. Being one of the programs under a new coaching staff, they were really looking forward to having a season this year. The team was fresh off a win against rival New Braunfels Canyon when the UIL made the call to suspend the season. Now that Gov. Greg Abbott has made the decision to cancel the remainder of the school year, their season is over. 

The Canyon win was really significant in terms of bragging rights, as the Cougars will drop to class 5A next year. But that’s little comfort to the team’s three seniors, who will miss out on playing in front of their home faithful and that last ride with their teammates. 

“[I’m] pretty upset,” shortstop Lauren Gonzales said. “Being a senior and having your last season taken away from you is very hard.”

The season came to a screeching halt after the win against Canyon over spring break. The team was just a few games into district play, and had picked up steam, winning seven of ten before Gov. Abbott called the season.

“I am sad about the cancellation” freshman Abby Brand said, “But it motivated me to work harder everyday to keep my game up.”

The cancellation came as a surprise to everyone on the team, but especially Gonzales, who was taken aback when she realized she couldn’t ride out the season with her teammates.

“Initially, I was pretty upset,” she said. “Knowing that you won’t play with the girls you’ve grown up playing with is a hard pill to swallow.”

However, being down isn’t the mindset around the team at all. Yes, their season was taken away, and yes, the seniors were robbed of their last season, but there’s still a sense of resurgence and optimism around the team’s future. A lot of the players have modified their workout regimen to keep their game up, including Gonzales, who has to made her workouts “more fun during these times, either going biking or doing something new or even running ten feet away from my friends if I can.”

Despite the circumstances surrounding this season’s end, all the players are highly motivated, and have the will to make next season special. Next year’s outlook is promising, as all the returning players are working hard to stay ready for next season. 

“l know our returning girls are working hard to come back even stronger for the 2020-2021 season,” junior third baseman Cassie Blevins said.

Gonzales also had a few inspirational words to offer for players and fans missing the sport.

“I would tell them to keep working hard, individually and as a team,” she said. “I know they can do it, and if they believe it too, it’ll happen. I wish I could play with them all over again and stay a Ranger, but I would tell them to make sure to live up to that name. It’s not just a mascot, it’s a lifestyle, and I truly believe that. I would also tell them to play every game like it’s your last because, like recently, you never know when it will be.”

The 2019-2020 softball season will forever go down as the season that could’ve been. Could they have won state? We’ll never know, but what this team is different. This team fights; they have a resilience like no other. The future may be uncertain, but one thing that is for sure: this team will prevail. Thick or thin, virus or no virus, the softball team will make it through.

“No virus can keep this SV team down,” Brand said, “because I know that we will come back stronger than ever next year.”