Tony Blaisure knows a thing or two about Elk Lake softball.
The head coach, who is entering his 34th year at the helm, is also a 1979 graduate of the school.
Blaisure said, “I thought we could have had a better record (last season) if we would have finished some games.”
So the coach knows what the team as a whole needs to work on.
“We are working on skills and fundamentals in practices and looking to improve each game to set us up for a high seed in districts,” he added.
The Warriors lost one senior starter from last year’s roster, Cheyenne Jenner who went on to join the roster at Wilkes University this year.
Blaisure is looking toward the future, citing a number of young and upcoming athletes for this season, to be led by senior captains Jackie Decker, Lucy Ives, and Lynda Lawrence.
With eight returning starters, and ten with varsity experience, Blaisure is ready to tackle the upcoming schedule.
“Our overall schedule will be very tough as we are playing many schools that are bigger than us,” he said.
The schedule also includes the team’s bi-annual trip to Disney World and ESPN in Orlando, Fla., in early spring, and a 6A team out of Philadelphia.
“Each player needs to have a mental toughness,” explained the coach. “We really don’t know our on field strengths just yet, and are a young team. The girls will learn that their hard work will pay off.”
Senior Lucy Ives reflected, “This season, I look most forward to being with my team, or in a team situation which could be possibly my last. I look forward to playing a sport I love with girls who love it just as much too. As a four year starter, I think the most important thing I’ve learned, but have not yet mastered, is having confidence in yourself but most importantly your team.”
She continued, “It’s easy to depend on yourself, but to have faith that your team is going to make every stop- and that you might not be the reason you win games- is super important. It’s also taught me that losing and learning from mistakes or from others is important to build yourself in anything that you want to do.”
The Warriors head south March 20 through March 24 to play a series of games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, the home of the Atlanta Braves spring training.
Ives said of the trip, “I expect good competition and a great way to start off the season. I think we may have a young team, but it certainly doesn’t mean we can’t win.”
Upon returning home, the Lady Warriors will hit the field at Lackawanna Trail on April 1 at 4:30 p.m. The Warriors split their season series with the Lions last year.
Roster: Seniors Jackie Decker, Lucy Ives, and Lynda Lawrence. Juniors Allana Warner, Samantha Hunsinger, Mercedes Zajaczkowski, and Jasmine Wood. Sophomores Tamara Voda, Charity Kasson, Olivia Voll, and Hailie Zajaczkowski. Freshmen Reese Warriner, Jenna Newhart, and Carli Sherman.
Schedule: Mar. 20-24 at Disney/ESPN WWOS; Apr. 1 at Lackawanna Trail, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 2 vs. Athens, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 4 at Lakeland, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 6 vs. Sayre, 11 a.m.; Apr. 8 at Susquehanna Community, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 9 at Holy Cross, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 11 at Mountain View, 4:30 p.m.; Arp. 15 vs. Forest City, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 17 at Montrose Area, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 20 at Coughlin, 11 a.m.; Apr. 22 vs. Blue Ridge, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 25 vs. Lackawanna Trail, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 27 vs. Lakeland, 12 p.m.; Apr. 29 vs. Susquehanna Community, 4:30 p.m.; May
2 vs. Mountain View, 4:30 p.m.; May 6 at Forest City, 4:30 p.m.; May 9 vs. Montrose
4:30 p.m.; May 13 at Blue Ridge, 4:30 p.m