Itís never easy following a legend. Thatís the spot Coach Brandi Hankins is in now. Coach Hankins is the new Boyertown High softball coach as she is taking over for Sue Benfield who decided to step down after too many years to coutn.
The Lady Bears are coming off a 13-5 season, and a PAC-10 championship the year before. But they lost Krista Schauder and Jenna Marburger, the two big pitchers they had last year.
Still, they do have a good mix of talent, including seven seniors to give the team some leadership.
ďIím very anxious and excited about the upcoming season,Ē said Coach Hankins. ďItís a new start for all of the coaches and girls this year. Weíre still getting to know the girls and their abilities, but so far things look promising. Iím very excited to see what these girls have to offer when we are actually able to step foot on the field.Ē
Among the seven seniors on the team are: Emily Allen, Melissa Bond, Brianna DePriest, Kelli Long, Sydney Edwards, Alexis Jacquot and Julia Davis. Other players to watch will be Amanda Loar, Vicky Schlott and Becky Marburger.
ďOur goal this season is to at least make it to the Final Four in the PAC-10,Ē said Coach Hankins. ďWeíre going to need senior leadership and immediate impact from some key freshman and sophomores.
Sheíll need the impact from the the younger players because there are so many of them this year. After the seven seniors, there are just two juniors. That means some freshmen and sophomores are going to get some playing time.
Itís hard to say what this team can do this year. With a new coach and a lot of new players, there may be a learning curve for the Lady Bears. Then again, if the seniors can improve enough from their play last year, a spot in the Final Four is certainly within their reach.