BRIENSBURG – Eagle spirits were high. There was even talk of a state championship.
Alas, the weather took that out of the realm of possibility. But for the Christian Fellowship Lady Eagles softball team, it had been within their reach.
The youthful Lady Eagles, with no player older than sophomore Amber Shelley, won six games in their return to varsity-level high school competition this year.
Competing in the Kentucky Christian Athletic Conference (KCAC), players and coaches Trevor Jackson and Tom Houser had a right to feel that they could have brought home the KCAC title from Louisville.
Nevertheless, the CFS squad does not have to wonder strictly about what might have been. What did happen was pretty special.
“They have far exceeded my expectations,” said Jackson, who along with fellow coach Tom Houser restablished the varsity softball program after several years of inactivity.
In fact, the Lady Eagles’ “veteran,” Shelley, played for a couple of years on the CFS baseball team, coached by her grandfather, Billy Hodge.
“I had to unlearn some habits, like with my swing,” said Shelley, the Lady Eagles’ catcher. “But it benefited me in some ways, learning to be aggressive.”
Eighth-grade pitcher Maddie Ortt, a softball veteran, wasn’t sure what to expect from some of her inexperienced teammates.
“They turned out better than I expected,” she said, “especially the younger ones in fifth grade and sixth grade.”
Jackson hopes to keep it growing.
“We have a three-year plan to compete in District 4 and in the All ‘A’ Classic,” he said.