According to Lamar Savages Softball Head Coach Austin Adamson the Lamar program has a strong 40 players out for the sport in what is nothing close to a normal year after CHSAA drastically changed the scheduling of just about every activity available. Softball got off somewhat lucky, as they managed to retain their season, at least, although the scheduling is not usual, the playoff picture is changed, and there are modifications because of COVID that have hampered development of the program.
Adamson is taking it all in stride as best he can, “I guess we are all in the same boat. I’m just glad they’re letting us play at all.”
Some challenges include the fact that only 12 can be on a roster at one time due to the new COVID rules. “That has us hampered because I have 13 for sure varsity players that I now have to juggle back and forth,” stated Adamson.
Because of the 12-player limit rule the Savages have more than enough for three full teams and Adamson is trying his best to get games for them all. The 40-player roster includes 10 players from outside Lamar High School including 2 from Holly, 4 from Granada, 1 from Eads (fr. Madison McDowell), 2 from McClave and one from Goal Academy. Adamson will have help from Craig Forney as the varsity assistant coach. The junior varsity coaches include Bre Penaflor, Adi Cruz, and Emily Garcia.
CHSAA also requires mask wearing at all times, even on the field; social distancing in the dug outs, bullpen, and foul lines; and a unique playoff picture that will require all teams to be successful right away and to stay successful in order to qualify. Adamson stated, “The playoff will be tough to make state as you must play well all season. There’s no more getting hot at the right time. We will have to be solid all season long.”
The expectations are high for the Lady Savages as they have all but a couple of key players returning. Adamson will have the services of now senior Jayda Hernandez who had the best bat last year as a junior hitting at a .579 clip and led with 10 stolen bases. Three more seniors return including Tacy Schmidt who was solid with a .463 batting average a year ago and had 8 stolen bases; catcher Trinity Gonzales and infielder Damonyca Segura.
The underclassmen are solid, as well, as they were forced to play a lot of varsity-level games a year ago in what was considered a building year. They include juniors Jenea Gallegos, Shania Sigala, Malea Martinez, Cassidy Jagers, Trinity Gallegos, and Lauryn Reyes; sophomores Jaidyn Branom and Maggie Cook-Wilson; and one freshman from Granada, Mariah Sigala, will join the varsity team, as well.
Adamson says his pitching staff is still learning. “We will be operating by committee again this year. We’re still evaluating, and it will really just depend who is on during what game. The bulk of innings will go to Jaidyn Branom, Cassidy Jagers (10 appearances, 4 wins, 8.26 ERA, 3 game starts) and the Sigala sisters, Shania (13 appearances, 5-5 record, 7.61 ERA, 10 game starts) and young Mariah.
As far as how the season is shaping up, Adamson says, “With everyone coming back we are all chasing University. Strasburg is always tough, as well. Within our league our competition will be Rocky Ford and La Junta.”
Adamson is anxious to get going and will finally get to their opener on Thursday when they travel to Dolores Huerta Prep in Pueblo for a double header.
Cover: The Lamar Savages has 40 players out for the team, enough to make more 3 full teams. Pictured all together are (Back l to r) Aliyah Macias, Taylor Stagner, Alexis Enciso, Destiny Jenkins, Taya Schmidt, Trinity Gonzales, Jaidyn Branom, Maggie Cook-Wilson, Brecklyn Herrera, Lauryn Reyes, Cassidy Jagers, Shania Sigala, Mariah Sigala, Kionna Herrera (Middle l to r): Dianeyd Lopez, Madison McDowell, Maribel Canales, Emilee Holbert, Emma Frey, McKenzie Lewis, Malea Martinez, Jaidyn Wilson, Delorian Bellomy, Aspen Hawkins, Trinity Gallegos, Erin Tempel, Arianna Vigil (Front l to r): Renee Brookshire, El Holbert, Olivia Medina, Teagan Farmer, Jenea Gallagos, Dalia Garcia, Jayda Hernandez, Shelby Casebolt, Noelia Puga, Tacy Schmidt, Kyra Martinez, Zoey Batterton, Alexis Sarmiento. Photo: Savage Softball