The Community R-VI softball team is coming off an 8-15 season and is opening their 2018 campaign with first year head coach Madison Henke.
Henke, a native of Silex and an assistant coach last year, is bringing to the Lady Trojans her collegiate experience. Henke played two years at Culver-Stockton College.
Community R-VI lost just two seniors to graduation from a year ago.
The Lady Trojans are returning their group up the middle with Emma Angel (P) and Emmi Johnson (C).
Taryn Clark (CF), a four-year starter, is also returning. Some other key contributors include Natalie Thomas (IF/P), Katie Bertels (IF), Deann Brooks (IF),and Maddee Gastler (IF).
Dalaney Bowers (OF/P) will be the No. 2 pitcher.
Several younger players will also be key to the team’s success.
“I’m looking for us to (be) competitive; we have a lot of good, young talent,” Henke said. “We just have a lot of great, upcoming talent…I’m hoping to work some of the younger girls in and to give the older girls a run for their money.”
Offensively, Henke wants to incorporate more of a short game as she said she has the team to do it.
Defensively, Henke wants her team to have good communication and great fundamentals.
This is also a season in which the Lady Trojans are no longer a part of the EMO Conference.
Their schedule is now filled with several Central Athletics Conference teams featuring schools mostly their size.
Pilot Grove, Cairo, and Madison will be tough opponents for the Lady Trojans this year.
Henke said her team competed in camps this summer and they held their own.
The Lady Trojans open their season at 5 p.m. on Monday, August 27 against Glasgow.