Nobody would have faulted the four seniors on the Bearden softball team if they had wanted to quit after their freshman year.
Bearden won only one game when Rachel Colwell, Shakara Goodloe, Jersey Patterson, and Alexus Prince were freshmen, but every season since, they have won more games than the previous. They won seven games in 2017 and nine in 2018.
As the Lady Bulldogs (7-12, 4-8 District 4-AAA) prepare to play their next game versus district rival Hardin Valley Academy (14-3, 10-2) on Thursday at 5:30, they’re on pace to improve on that win total yet again.
Coach Angelica McClerkin, who has been with them all four years, was quick to praise those four for having invested in the future of this program and sticking with it, despite the difficulties of their freshman season.
“I’ve seen these four young ladies embody true leaders,” Coach McClerkin said. “They’ve shown grit, determination, bravery, grace, and most of all character.”
She said they have become leaders and molded the younger players on and off the field.
“Shakara and Rachel showed up in the off-season and made a presence for our underclassmen,” Coach McClerkin said. “Jersey is our vocal one; no matter where we put her, she works hard and never gives up.”
Looking at the past four years, the growth of this team and this senior class has been tremendous.
“We’ve had a lot more talent come up through the years, we’ve also worked really hard, worked out during the summer when other teams were off,” Colwell said. “We’ve just really dedicated ourselves to improving the team overall.”
Added Goodloe: “I feel like we’ve become more confident as a team. We’ve kind of built the program to be our own and we’re proud of it.
“I feel like every year our goal is to do better than last year. We want to show people we are improving and the program is turning into something special.”