BROOKFIELD – The last time the South Colchester Academy (SCA) girls softball team lost a regional title, ‘Drops of Jupiter’ by Train was climbing the charts, Barry Bonds was on his way to a 73-home run season and the Fast and the Furious was tops at the box office – the first one.
Provincially, the Wolves have not lost a banner since George W. Bush gave way to Barack Obama as President of the United States and the wholesome Miley Cyrus made her foray into the music world.
It’s been 12 years since anybody else in the Northumberland region has won a championship, and five years since anyone has beaten the Wolves on the provincial level.
“It’s certainly built around a winning tradition,” said Kelly Spencer, the team’s head coach and SCA’s athletic director. “The younger girls see the older ones and want to be a part of the program. They want to keep it alive and add one more each year.”
The Wolves were on the field Tuesday afternoon for the last practice before they head to Bridgewater this weekend to defend the streak. It was a lighthearted practice, full of laughs and smiles – but don’t be fooled, Spencer said.
“They can seem pretty relaxed here in practice, but once they get on the field, they’re a pretty fierce team.”
The team is a unique blend – an equal mix of three seniors and three seventh graders, with other high schoolers in between. Being a 7-12 school, the Wolves are able to draw young talent into the mix to keep the winning tradition brewing for years to come.
While playing against older players can be tough, playing with them has its benefits.
“It’s different because they have a lot of experience and we’re just new to it,” said Hayley Elliott, a seventh grade catcher for the team. “The way they do certain things, in the infield or outfield, it’s a learning experience for us.”
Jade MacDougall also cracked the squad in her first year trying, something that took her by surprise.
“I don’t think I’m good enough at stuff sometimes,” she said. “But I was really excited to make the team.”
Helping them along are senior players like Madison Clarke, who calls the shots from shortstop. Playing alongside Jade, Clarke lets her younger teammate know where the play is heading and what to do at all times.
“I know (Jade) probably knows anyway, but when she’s in Grade 12, she’ll be able to do the same for the younger girls,” Clarke said. “I try to make them feel like they are welcome, and I bring them into the group.”
The Wolves will look to keep their undefeated streak rolling when they open the tournament against host Park View 10 a.m. Friday morning, before taking on Spryfield’s JL Ilsley at 2:30 p.m. They’ll close out the round robin Saturday morning at 9 a.m. against Sackville before heading into the crossovers and hopefully beyond.