The Broughton and Southeast Raleigh softball teams recognize they’re not contenders for their respective league titles. Their rosters aren’t stocked by players honing their games year-round with club teams.
That’s what it takes to compete at the top these days in high school softball, but the Capitals of the Cap-8 Conference and Bulldogs of the Greater Neuse River Conference still take pride in their victories.
Broughton opened the season beating Southeast Raleigh 30-18 on Feb. 27 at home. The Caps have already matched last season’s win total.
Southeast Raleigh evened the two-game nonconference series with a 23-8 victory Tuesday at its home field. The Bulldogs need one more victory to match last season’s total.
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Yes, those are modest goals, but listen to the players and it’s obvious they’re still having fun playing and learning.
“Everybody on the team really likes the game,” said Broughton catcher Regan Curtis.
Added Southeast Raleigh pitcher Dejah Brown: “This team loves working together. We have great cooperation and chemistry.”
One reason the girls from both teams remain optimistic is they have patient coaches. Dorrian Stephens has returned to Broughton for his second year. Gregory Watkins is in his fifth season at Southeast Raleigh.
“It’s not about what I get out of it,” said Stephens. “I’m a graduate of the school. I didn’t want to see the girls have a new coach every year.”
Echoed Watkins: “I like working with the kids. I knew the girls needed someone to stick with them instead of a new coach every year. We have a lot of optimism.”
For both coaches, practices and game days are classroom sessions. They never stop teaching.