It is said that life is a journey, not a destination. That phrase couldn’t be more true for the Mansfield Lady Tigers Softball team this season as they fell to Genoa Central during the second round of the State Playoffs. For Coach Kent Elmore & seniors Caroline Nicodemus, Kylie Eveld, Rylea Weaver, and Shyann McDowell, the loss was the final destination for their Mansfield Tiger careers in softball. Although their end was not what was hoped for, their journey was ever so wonderous.
The Lady Tigers ended their season with an 18-16 total play record and 4-6 in conference. As with any great novel, the best parts are at the end. The Lady Tigers shocked not only the town of Mansfield but the state of Arkansas as they started knocking off teams that were said to be better than them.
Mansfield started their streak with a solid run through District, knocking off Greenland, West Fork, & Charleston in dominating fashion before finishing as Runner Up to District Champion Elkins. That was merely a warm-up. Once the Lady Tigers got to Regionals, they ran rampant on Mountain View before falling to state finalist Rose Bud in the second round. Mansfield took third place in Regionals after their victorious game against Charleston.
Yes, the Mansfield Lady Tigers were officially State bound. Mansfield opened up their State Tournament by crushing Harmony Grove 13-1 but came up short against state finalist Genoa Central. Did you notice that the Lady Tigers only losses after District were to the two teams playing for the State Championship?
The Mansfield Lady Tigers had an excellent year and one that is sure to be remembered for years to come. Lady Tigers Coach Kent Elmore said “As a coach, I think the most important thing to do is to reflect on your year. Reflection always equals growth no matter your outcomes. As I reflect on this year I always find ways I could have done better. However, I like to reflect to the public all about the positives. Our softball season was full of ups and downs. We started out at a 6-12 record. The world was against us and my team never gave up. A short month later we found ourselves at 13-12 going into the District Tournament. Fast forward to present day, and we find ourselves finishing the season with an 18-16 record. Our softball team made the Elite 8 in the state tournament and proved to be one of the best in the state.”
“For my 4 seniors, I love each one of you. You have helped me find my purpose in life and I can’t thank you enough. I have always pushed you to your brink and you have always powered through. You will truly never know the impact you four girls have had on me. Your work ethic and determination have developed me into a better coach. I look forward to my new endeavors and can’t wait to grow my coaching career.”