• May 18Fall Sports Award Banquet on Dec. 3rd

  • March 29Jr. & Sr. High Band Concerts on Dec.4

Patriot Expressions

The Final Inning

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The Final Inning

The team huddles together for a pep talk before taking the field.

The team huddles together for a pep talk before taking the field.

Photo By Ciara Massey

The team huddles together for a pep talk before taking the field.

Photo By Ciara Massey

Photo By Ciara Massey

The team huddles together for a pep talk before taking the field.

Ciara Massey and Grace Rutledge

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For the first time in 12 years, the Lady Patriots qualified for the state finals in Benton, where they played on May 19. The whole school shared a feeling of excitement and pride as the team left that Friday afternoon, and the school hosted a send off for the Lady Pats as they left for the finals.

The team went to the state tournament at Fayetteville holding the first seed for 6A East Conference. They played Lake Hamilton first on Friday, May 11, winning a very close game of 2-1. The following day, the team was able to capture another win against Jonesboro with an overall score of 7-3, ultimately qualifying them for finals.

“We went into the game confident,” junior Morgan Whited recalled. “We had seen them before and beaten them before, and we were gonna do it again. As soon as the game started, we were feeling good. The whole team cheered at every out. We held them to zero and scored and scored throughout the whole game, and everyone played great. We really only faltered once, at the top of the seventh with bases loaded. But, we only allowed three runs to our seven before we got three outs and finished the game. I think people might’ve gotten a little nervous there, but ultimately we held them for a sound victory.”

The players left on Friday, May 18, to prepare for their game the next day at 3 p.m. They put up a good fight but ended up losing in the fifth inning. However, despite having lost the game, the girls are more than happy to have earned the second place title in the state tournament. Their achievements this season have not gone unrecognized: head coach Sean Gray was beyond happy with the team and their efforts this season.

I am extremely proud of the work our girls put in each and every day,” Coach Gray expressed. “We started the season off rough winning just four of our first nine games. But, we didn’t lay down, we responded by coming in and working harder in practice, and it paid off to us finishing the season winning 13 games to just four losses.

For seniors Shelby Carpenter, Blakeleigh Garrison, Haley Cook, Destiny King and Kaitlyn Bain, the state finals was the last time they would take the field as Lady Patriots. They let their passion for the game show on the field, and together, combined with the rest of the team, they brought home their title of second place in the state.

This season has been one of the best out of my four years of playing,” expressed Cook. “Everyone gave 110% every game and practice. Playing throughout state, we had the determination to make it to the finals. We stopped at nothing to achieve our goal. Every out we made, we acted like it was the last, every hit we got, we acted like it was the game winning hit. We acted like we had a 20-0 lead to every team even though it was really just 1-0. Having that momentum throughout the first part of the tournament got us to the state final game… Our team is strong and everyone of us has a love for the game that is even stronger.”

Coach Gray has more to be proud of than just the state runner up title. He has been named 6A East Outstanding Coach of the Year, and seniors Carpenter, King and Garrison have been named all-state players. Sophomore Kyndel Williams and senior Cook were chosen to be on the All State Tournament Team, and Carpenter, King, Garrison, Cook, Williams, and Whited are all conference players. Sophomore Meagan Tolleson received All Conference Honorable Mention.

 

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The Final Inning