Falcon Softball Team Dominates SPC


Tara Kersh

The FWCD softball team posing with the SPC 3A Championship Trophy after beating John Cooper. Photo by Tara Kersh

Reagan Hall, Reporter

In April of 2022, the Varsity softball team went down to Houston with revenge on their mind. After losing to Episcopal of Houston, EHS, in the SPC Championship of 2021, they were ready to fight through the tough teams of South Zone and reach their final goal: champions. Unfortunately, the team fell short in an eight-inning, heartbreaking game to Kinkaid and ended up getting fifth place. 

They were motivated more than ever to win in the 2023 season but news came out that SPC would be splitting into 3A and 4A from now on. This is because half of the teams, mostly in the South Zone, have schools 2x the size of FWCD and other schools in the North Zone. Therefore, from an athletic standpoint, they have more talent to choose from and are generally overpowering. Although this divide would make the final tournament more fair, the news broke their hearts and dreams of returning to the tournament ready to beat Kinkaid and EHS.

Upon returning to the field in late February, the team was ready to work and still motivated to win the 3A division. However, there was one hiccup: they realized they weren’t going to be the team they were the year prior. After the 2022 season, they lost seven seniors and were left with ten upcoming juniors, one sophomore, and six freshmen. Then, they lost a few juniors and were left with one varsity team and some floaters to play both JV and Varsity games. The first few weeks were a struggle for the team trying to get the freshmen caught up on everything, but although they were inexperienced, they worked harder than anyone could have imagined.

“I think it’s been challenging for the freshmen this year because with our low numbers they were absorbed into the Varsity expectations quicker than I intended for them,” DeAnn Hall, Softball program director, said. “However, they have responded well to the challenge; although there is a lot of work to be done, they are eager to learn and are asking the right questions and pushing through adversity on a daily basis. I am very proud of them for that, too.”

Because none of the underclassmen had played in a varsity game before, they were understandably nervous about both the difficulty level and playing with juniors. However, the first few games came and the improvement was tremendous. All of their hard work had paid off, and no one could have been more proud than the juniors and the coaches. 

“Going into the season, I was nervous to hear the team was split into juniors and freshmen. However, the juniors were welcoming and continue to take the time to help us freshmen improve. Because of that, I feel like the team is more united like a family,” Lindley Williams ‘26 said.

Although everyone was still celebrating, some juniors still remembered why it was important to keep the underclassmen on track.

Shortstop and catcher Katie Bruce ‘24 was put into a new position and role on the varsity just like the freshman had to. She had to move to catcher only a week after the season began after Kyra Gibbons ‘24 nearly broke her hand in a game. Bruce has seen firsthand the work everyone has been putting in and moving into positions they may not be as comfortable in.

“Winning SPC is not everything to me as long as we play the best we can and truly fight for it. As a team, I have seen everyone improve by overcoming adversity when we lost key players and working hard every day,” Bruce said.

After a week or two, Gibbons returned back to the field. The team began conference play two weeks after Spring Break on March 28 against Oakridge. Just like they did the year before, the Varsity team run-ruled the Owls in three innings 17-0, and two days later they run-ruled Trinity Valley in five, 12-0. Then came Hockaday the next week, and they did the same thing: run-ruled them 10-0. Then, the team beat Episcopal of Dallas 22-1 and Greenhill 13-0. 

As well as playing conference games, the team has played against strong schools that aren’t in SPC; for example, they have played Southwest Christian, the Atlas Rattlers, Tolar, and more. These teams are stronger than a lot of the teams in the Northzone division, so playing them first prepared the Varsity squad to sweep everyone. 

“You’re trying to expose your teams to many different styles of play, challenges, experiences and situations possible before conference play, along with learning how to play with your teammates and understanding what works best. This gives teams the confidence to compete against their conference counterparts. Preseason games are important,” Shelley Rains, assistant softball coach, said. 

The FWCD Varsity Softball team beat Casady to obtain the number one seed of the tournament, on April 22, for the third year in a row. See Caroline Carmichael’s SPC wrap up to see how the team fared in the tournament.