GHS Softball has begun and Coach Michelle Smith could possibly have the best team she has ever had. And that says a lot because not too long ago she coached Kelcie Matesa, now a star pitcher at St. Louis University.
Coach Smith has high expectations for the girls this year and says the hard work is going to show in the post-season.
Who will be your ‘star’ returners? Senior, Alina Fields will be our main returner along with juniors: Laura Halpin, Payton Anderson, Abbie Cline, and Loni Nicole Manalia. Allison Goldasich and Alexis Burns, both sophomores, will also add some strength in our lineup. We’ve got 3 or 4 girls that will hopefully play at the next level. We’re balanced up and down our lineup.
Who do you expect to be your ‘surprise’ athletes? I’m looking forward to watching the the Gray twins, Molly and Ellen, progress throughout the season. Even though they’re just freshmen, they’ve played a lot of summer games over the years. A lack of high school experience shouldn’t be a problem with those two. They’ll add speed to my lineup this year and the next three years.
Who are your big match-ups or rivals? Staunton will be our rival in the Prairie State Conference race. I also look forward to playing with the bigger schools like Edwardsville, Triad, Highland, Civic Memorial, and Alton Marquette. We will definitely surprise a few of these schools this year with our young talent.
What is your outlook on your season? This season we will be very successful. I am anticipating 20 or more wins along with a Prairie State Conference title. For the post season action, we are hoping to add another Regional Title along with a Sectional playoff appearance.
Do you have any titles to defend this season from the 2010 season? Yes we do, we have to defend our 2A Regional Championship title.