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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Striking a learning curve

Yutan/Mead Patriots find success through hardships

Every team has obstacles to face, whether that be in the games or outside of them. However, a team’s season is never defined by their hardships; a season is determined by how hard the team works through their hardships, which was true for the Yutan/Mead softball team this season. 

The team had challenges before the official season even started. The Patriots were faced with the resignation of their head coach and loss of 11 seniors, 9 of which were starters.

Sophomore Adie Gale looks to throw the ball towards home plate. Gale played both center fielder and pitcher for the Patriots. (Ginger Eikmeier)

“The biggest difference was having so many seniors leave from the previous year,” starting centerfielder Adie Gale said. “I think at the beginning of the year… the girls were kind of struggling to find how we all work together.”

Coming off last year’s season winning a state championship, the Patriots came into the season hoping to continue the program’s success, but with a roster of almost all new girls, the team had a bit of a rocky start. One of their goals for the season was to learn how to work together, which required underclassmen to step into bigger roles.

“It was a little slow at first. There was a lot of incoming freshmen that we got to get to know and had to learn how everybody plays and plays together,” returning sophomore starter Jordyn Campbell said. “It was definitely a challenge, but we figured it out.”

To help the freshmen, Gale explained that she stepped into a leadership role. Her goal was to show that with hard work and dedication, anyone could earn a varsity spot.

 “My personal goal was to be a leader for the team…I wanted to just be able to show the team that we are just as powerful as we were last year,” Gale said.

As the team began to bond together with their new leaders, the Patriots began to play more competitively as games were closer in score. They were even able to string together a series of wins, placing fourth in the conference tournament; however, the Patriots had their season cut short after a 0-9 loss to Ashland-Greenwood in the sub-district semi-final game. 

“Obviously, we wanted to make it to state, but I think that just being able to accomplish the amount of wins that we got this season and how well we progressed throughout the year was the biggest takeaway,” Gale said. “Even when we did lose games throughout the end of the year, they weren’t by nearly as much as they were at the beginning.”

Another takeaway from the season that the team’s new head coach noticed was “the girls becoming teammates, friends and better people.”

“We are here for not only the game of softball but for each other,” head coach Brooke Campbell said. “They look out for each other and support each other in many more aspects than just the game.”

Sophomore Jordyn Campbell catches ball securing the strikeout. Campbell previously played third base during the 2022 season and switched to catcher this season. (Mckenna Jones)

Overall, all the lessons helped the players realize the impact the game has had on them.

“[High school softball has] honestly become a family, and with the coaching staff and with all the girls that I’ve played with including last year’s seniors and this year’s seniors…I think that everyone’s very welcoming and always trying to be part of a family,” Jordyn Campbell said.

So while the team looks back on this season as they continue to the next, the Patriots recognize this learning curve as a success.

“The team made huge improvements throughout the year,” Coach Campbell said. “We made a goal at the beginning of the season, and that was to be better at the end… we did exactly that.”


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About the Contributors
Haley Kube
Haley Kube, Senior writer
Haley Kube is a senior and in her fourth year of journalism. She enjoys writing sports news, feature stories and making infographics.  Outside journalism, Haley is involved in student council, FBLA, basketball, track, football, NHS, and speech.
Mckenna Jones
Mckenna Jones, Junior writer
Mckenna Jones is a junior and in her third year of journalism. She enjoys writing entertainment reviews, sports stories and taking photos. Outside journalism, Mckenna is involved in volleyball, track, NHS and FCA.
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