Mother Nature has not yet given the Junction City High softball team an opportunity to practice on a real field, but that hasn’t stopped players from working to better themselves every day in preparation for the upcoming softball season.
After winning just two games last season, head coach Aaron Craig has stressed that the result on the scoreboard isn't everything.
Improving as a player every day is what counts.
“It’s not really whether you win or lose," Craig said. "It’s making sure every time you get on the field that you’re getting better. Our goal is always 1-0. That is definitely what’s going to be the most important thing: making sure we are getting better every game. And wins come when you do that.”
Craig is looking to establish the club as a “we” and not a “me” team. Teams win games, not individuals, he said.
“It’s not really about star players,” he said. “It’s about players that you want in your program. Right now, we don’t want to single anybody out because we feel everybody is important to what we do. But we have some kids who we think are dedicated to what we want to do, and that’s the most important thing.”
Last season, an underclassman-laden team allowed younger players an opportunity to shine. It's the same story this season.
Craig said he feels that the players who show up to practice every day are the ones who want to be part of a successful program, and that’s what he is looking for.
Early on, he said, the group is bringing energy every practice.
"We like what the kids are giving us," he said. "The effort right now is there. We are still learning from some of them; they’re learning how we want things. It’s always a learning opportunity, but so far we like what we see.”