Softball: Park's senior class leaves big shoes to fill
Players come and players go, but this Park senior class was special.
Indeed, it may be awhile before Park sees the like of these four seniors together again on one softball team—shortstop Delaney Young, center fielder Riley Perryman, first baseman Heather Degler and third baseman Shelby Schabacker.
"They've done everything for us," said Park head coach Bob Loshek. "You couldn't ask for anything more. You get some years some years where you say this senior could have done this or that senior could have done that. These four put everything on the table."
Back next season for the Wolfpack will be pitchers Bryanna Olson and Sam Fohrman and returning starters Madi Meduna, Megan Morris, Nayeli Pallais and Corinna Loshek. That's a pretty good nucleus to build around.
Still, not having the Young-Perryman-Degler-Schabaker quartet on hand will be a challenge.
Stats — and this team had a of them including conference and section championships, 25 wins in 27 games, all-conference and all-state honors — might be forgotten. What will be remembered was how close this team was, how good they were and how much fun they had.
"I mean they (the Ponies) came out ready to play," said Perryman. "They made plays that normal teams wouldn't play on any other day. I give huge credits to them. They came out strong. We, on the other hand, we struggled a lit bit with the bats but I'm not disappointed in any way that we played. We played our hearts out and we just got the short end of the stick.
"It was probably the best season I've ever had," Perryman added. "I mean I love every single one of these girls like they're my family and I wouldn't trade anything for the world."
"I think this game, they just came more ready, they were more prepared and I think we kind of came in with a little nerves and jitters," said Degler. "We didn't play our game. But I'm so proud of this team because this is the best season. And I'm so happy that I came from East Ridge to come play with them because this is definitely the best team I've ever played on."
"We had a great season," said Young. "It was just who got hot at the right time and who came hotter with the bats. I feel like we should have came back a lot harder and stuff, but I don't know.
Her remembrance of the season: "How ugly everybody cried, look at her," said Young as she shed some tears of her own.
"I've never felt so close to my teammates and we bonded so well," said Schabacker. "We always got along. There was no fighting, there was no nothing. We loved playing with each other. It was a really great year. I'm so proud of them."
"Honestly, all-in-all, you probably couldn't ask for anything more out of a season other than maybe have the blue medals," said coach Loshek. "But really as I told the girls, medals and rings collect dust, and the bonds last forever. And these girls are just amazing girls."