MINERAL WELLS —
By TONY EIERDAM
Two years ago, a young Mineral Wells Lady Rams softball team – a team that started two freshmen and a pair of sophomores – won a district championship.
Now, with three of those ladies returning to add to the talent of even younger players collected last year and a one freshman this season, the Lady Rams are poised to go further in the playoffs than any team that head coach David Tarver has fielded in his 14 years as head coach.
“I have a good blend of experience and youth this season,” Tarver explained. “Our returning players, however, set the team goals.
“Our major goal is really simple: win the next game. That is the mentality that the girls have chosen to take this year, and I am very excited about that outlook.
“They are not looking down the road. They are looking at working hard today, and looking only as far ahead as who is our next opponent.
“We sat down and wrote down team goals, and I always put the girls in charge of that. They are very adamant about just winning that next game.
“If they do that, they will win district, make the playoffs, and when you are in the playoffs the focus is always just on the next game.
“They don’t want to worry about what is down the road. They are focused on the next game. This might be the most mature group of girls that I have coached.
“I am able to sit back and listen to them in team meetings, and usually I have to lead the meetings and guide them in a direction. But with this group I just sit back and listen.”
The Lady Rams welcome back junior shortstop Bethany Allen, who last year as a sophomore was selected to the all-state, first team, and the two returning starting seniors will be catcher Reagan Patterson and second baseman Chandler Ortiz, both all-district, first-team players the past two seasons.