Roll, Tide, roll!
That was the battle cry as the week began, with Sherman High’s softball team headed to the state Class A tournament at Vienna.
The Lady Tide is scheduled to open the state tourney at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 28. All state games are played at Vienna’s softball complex near Parkersburg.
Hats off and high salutes to the Lady Tide for carrying the Boone County banner to the state showdown. For now, everyone is a Sherman fan.
For those heading to Vienna for the games, the Lady Tide’s first action will occur on field 3. If the Tide wins their opener over Magnolia, as we all expect, they will play again at about 6:30 p.m., Wednesday. If they lose, they would play a second game at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, in the double-elimination tournament.
A 9:30 a.m. game Thursday is possible, leading to the 2 p.m. championship, also on field 3.
It was an up-and-down regular season for the Lady Tide, but as they head to the state, they appear to be hitting on all cylinders.
Their 18-0 win over Fayetteville in the regional final is a testament to a team that knows where it’s going and where it has been. On the year, Sherman goes to Vienna with a 20-13 record.
That record includes two wins over Valley in the sectional, which is also a double-elimination affair. Then they eked out a 6-4 victory over Man before thumping Fayetteville for the right to travel on. Regionals are one-loss elimination affairs.
In between sectional wins and the regional title, the Lady Tide dropped three re-scheduled regular season games. They fell to Sissonville, South Charleston and Herbert Hoover. Since those three are bigger schools in Class AA and AAA, the tune-ups were apparently good for the Lady Tide.
Jim Henderson is a quality coach and deserves all the accolades that can be given to him for his leadership and coaching skills over the years. It would just be another testament to the first-class person he is to have a softball championship trophy in 2014. His work with the Lady Tide has been motivational and inspiring, to say the least.
Magnolia comes into the game at 17-14 on the year, meaning Sherman has an excellent shot at winning the opener. Any team that wins game one is in a superb position the rest of the way. Although I cannot make the early game Wednesday, I look forward to seeing the team in the later rounds. I want to be there Thursday when the Tide rolls to victory.
* * * * * *
The Vienna complex at Jackson Memorial Park is a great place to enjoy softball action. There is certainly adequate parking, field space and the staff members are friendly and cooperative. Those who have not visited before will definitely enjoy the experience.
* * * * * *
Another area team, Lincoln County High, will appear in the second Triple A game of the day Wednesday, scheduled for a first pitch at about noon. There, the Lady Panthers of Coach Rod Hoover meet Musselman on field 1. The Lady Panthers appear to be the only winning athletic program LCHS can produce after the consolidation of the old Duval, Guyan Valley and Hamlin highs.
The strange thing about all that is that the three former schools all came up with pretty quality programs in various sports, year-in and year-out. Most of the county’s more talented athletes now go to other schools. The ex-Harts High was consolidated with the late Chapmanville High to form Chapmanville Regional High, where virtually all Harts area students attend high school. Those from Sod and Sumerco often attend Scott High in Madison; and Alum Creekers go to George Washington, St. Albans or South Charleston.
That dilution of talent has caused havoc in the LCHS football and basketball teams, who have taken losing to a new level.
Hoover, the softball coach, is a first-class guy and he and his girls deserve all they can attain. I am rooting for Lincoln County in AAA. That title game is at 2:30 p.m., Thursday.
* * * * * *
Westside is in the AA field, with their opener at 9:45, Wednesday, against Ritchie County. Cardinal Conference member Herbert Hoover plays at noon against Petersburg.
* * * * * *
All in all, it will be a good old time in Vienna, although I’ve never attended a state softball tournament without rain. Usually, the raindrops are the biggest impediment to getting the tourney over. Let’s pray for sunshine this time around.
* * * * * *
Hoping to see all Boone County softball fans in Wood County, your comments, rumors, game scores and story ideas are always welcome. Use my email or call my cell, 304-533-5185.