LOCUST GROVE — The Locust Grove Lady Wildcats are coming into 2019 with several things they’ll have to contend with as the returning back-to-back state champions.
Locust Grove High School has two state championships that came back-to-back and continued the programs’ long state tournament appearance streak to eight straight years.
But the number of players who’ve graduated over the past two years and the pressure of continuing a tradition of making the state playoffs and trying to continue a state title run must be there for head coach Chris Davis and his program.
“I think pressure is there probably internally,” Davis said. “Because I don’t want to stop but that can’t be the pressure. Our pressure needs to be what it has been every year. Pressure to do the very best we can do. A state championship is a result, but we must realize that. We can’t add extra pressure in having to achieve something, we just have to concentrate on what we can control and let the outcome take care of itself.”
This will be one of the youngest rosters the Lady Wildcats will have also with just four seniors tasked with leading the program. But they’re no slouches on the field as Layla Barron returns to action in the circle as a good arm slot behind junior Brooke McCubbin while Kelly Kight is expected to provide a good bat.
Behind McCubbin the holes will have to be filled. Gone are the Bailey Richardson’s, Chandler Mitchell’s, Taegen Lewellen and Kyndal Brown’s but it’s not going to be too hard.
“Brooke needs to do what she has always done, throw strikes,” Davis said. “She’s a team person and I think we’ll be fine there. The people that we lost that were seniors, it’s an opportunity for those who have been in the program to step up and therefore they’ve been practicing the last year or two. Therefore, they are here at Locust Grove, to get this opportunity it’s their chance. We’re going to rely on them and see where we go.”