BOONVILLE - After graduating seven starters from last year’s squad, head coach Heather Courts knew she would have to rely on her five returning seniors this season.
Seniors Courtney Groce, Ashley Osborne, Courtney Barnes, Amber Smith and Sam Couch filled the big holes left in Courts’ lineup and field this year and have led the Lady Rams to a 16-4 record, including a 13-3 mark in the Mountain Valley Conference.
Courts will have to fill those voids again next season as the five seniors celebrated Senior Night Friday afternoon prior to their final home game against East Wilkes.
“The seniors have been great leaders and have stepped into a bunch of different roles,” Courts explained. “Sam was an unexpected starter in the outfield and has played her tail off out there. Amber Smith hasn’t played much at third base, but has done a great job. Courtney [Groce] and [Ashley Osborne] have always been solid on the mound for us. And I hate it for Courtney Barnes that she broke her thumb and missed her senior night, but this is the first year she’s caught for us.
“It’s crazy that they’re all in these first-time positions and taking on some big roles and filling some big shoes,” she added. “They’re doing a great job.”
Each senior was introduced with their family in front of the Ram faithful and given flowers and hugs from the coaching staff.
“We’re going to miss them greatly, especially for their leadership,” Courts said. “But we’re not done yet. We plan on playing for at least another month.”
Courts and the Lady Rams are preparing for the conference tournament this week before focusing on the 2A state playoffs next week.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.