A Preview of the Upcoming Softball Season

Spencer Noel, Sports Journalist, Sports Announcer

This week, I had the chance to sit down with Softball Head Coach Shanna O’Bright and ask several questions about the Upcoming Softball Season. During the first true week of practice, inclement weather forced school to be let out, and all after school activities to be canceled. When asked about this, Coach O said, “…[W]hen we’re not in school, we don’t get to practice, so we are a little bit behind as far as where I want us to be. But, we look to have nice weather this week, so we will be outside looking to make up for lost time as much as we can over the next seven or so days.” When I asked what some of the strengths of this year’s squad are, she said, “This group of juniors that I have are a really solid group…Even though these kids are coming off not being able to play last season, they are very hungry. They are ready to go. I’m going to have some juniors step up this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.” This would not be the last time Coach O mentions this junior class. The team has only one senior this season, Kaytlan Mascroft. Coach O mentions about her, “…She has been to the State Tournament two times, so she is providing some great leadership.”

Not every team is perfect, however. When asked about some areas she would like to see improved, she said, “Well, this season is kind of a unique situation because we are replacing pretty much every defensive position on the field, with a few exceptions. Some people are moving around, and trying some new positions; trying some new things. And so, everyone, defensively, is going to have to take their game up a notch. Offensively, we’ve been trending towards improving our team batting average over the past couple of seasons, and I look to continue seeing this improve as well.”

Looking ahead to the season, I asked about the strength of schedule and how tough it is going to be this season, she said, “We always schedule pretty tough. We have a very tough district, it could go either way at any time. I like to think that we do play a pretty tough schedule, to try and make us better; to try and prepare us for district tournament and winning those big games when we need to.” This years district line up of games has DCHS hosting Brighton early on, that game being on March 18th. Traveling to Liberty on March 29th, hosting Munford on April 1st, going to Munford on April 12th, to Brighton on April 20th, hosting Hardin County May 3rd, and turning right around the next day and traveling to Hardin County.

Last season, due to Covid-19, Coach O lost a great group of seniors. I asked how this team would rebound from that loss. She said, “They will be missed…I’m looking forward to this season, and the girls are ready to go. They’re excited to be back out on the field, and we just want to play some softball in 2021.” This then lead me to ask how Covid-19 will effect this season. She went on to say, “We haven’t really thought too much forward to the games themselves. We use a lot of Germ-X, and we spray the balls down. In softball, everyone pretty much has their own helmet and their own bat, so we don’t have to share anything like that. If we have to go into schools, we will wear masks and most likely wear masks in the dugout. Other than that, we’re outside, so Social Distancing is pretty easy in the game of Softball, because the positions aren’t anywhere close.”

This is looking to be a promising season for the DCHS Softball Team. With a group of Juniors hungry and looking to step up the plate this season behind the leadership of Head Coach Shanna O’Bright, her entire staff, and Senior Kaytlan Mascroft, The Lady Choctaws are poised to make noise in the district, and compete for not only a district title, but a state championship. The Lady Choctaws’ first game will at home against Chester County on March 15th. The JV will start at 4:45, and the Varsity will start at 6.