First and foremost I would like to congratulate the 2013 Midget softball team on qualifying for the state tournament! What an exciting post-season. Being one of the top 40 teams left in the state with just over 350 teams total is a real honor. Embrace this next week and make the most of it; as a community we have a lot of pride in our softball team thanks to you.
Secondly I would like to take a minute of your time to commend the coach behind all the success. As a former player I have had the pleasure of being coached by Megan Anderson. I have nothing but the utmost respect for her as a coach and as a person. Coach Anderson has continued to improve the ELC softball record and program since she became the head coach in 2009. And once she was given the reins she was ready to ride! The 2009 season came to a heart-breaking end during the regional final game to a questionable call against Sioux City Heelan Crusaders. The 2010 season came to an end at another regional final game when the Hinton Blackhawks took the victory over the Midgets. But then in 2011 the Midgets overcame the hump and finally cashed in their ticket to the Iowa Girls State Softball Tournament. Since then Coach Anderson is now able put three time state qualifier behind her coaching name. While the work has to be done by the players to get there, it is the coaches that teach the skills and lessons that are needed to be victorious.
Megan Anderson was and still is constantly trying to improve her team's skills, as individuals and as a whole. Year around open gyms were always provided for pitchers and catchers to throw and fielders to work on drills and hit, no matter the month Coach was always willing to unlock the gym. Coming to practices with new drills, conditioning drills, and always sticking to the basics were her tactics. Fundamentals were constantly drilled into our heads by freshman coach Bob Kirchner, but if for some reason they were forgotten Coach Anderson would be right there to help us out and get back on the right track. Trying to make sure her practices were never boring and repetitive was something Anderson strived for. Megan was always willing to help after hours as well, especially if it was after a game that the team or a certain individual struggled. No matter the time or day if she wasn't busy with work or her family she was willing to help; and if she could not help she would find someone who could. Not all coaches are as selfless.
Along Anderson's side has been York Plagge and RaLeah Held, they have been nothing but helpful. Often times even if it was just for a pick-me up smile in the dugout or a pat on the back, Coach Plagge was a great asset to the team and will be missed in this community. His humor was always present and kept everyone in a positive mood. RaLeah has always been on top of the books and understands the game well; I know Coach Anderson appreciates all the volunteer time put in by RaLeah.
Being a multi-sport athlete I had multiple coaches throughout all the years and Coach Megan Anderson is the real deal. I am hopeful that one day, one team will grant her the biggest prize available to a high school softball team, a state championship. She is very deserving.
If you see Coach Megan Anderson out around town, give her a pat on the back and thank her for the work she does and for providing this town with a softball organization to be proud of.
To the present and future Midget softball team members, I have 2 words for you-DO WORK!