Bobcats ‘played above and beyond’ expectations in 2009
Susan Mayberry has never liked the term “rebuilding” since taking over the softball program at Basehor-Linwood High School.
Some might have looked at the team’s roster entering this season and questioned whether or not the players would win a lot of games, having five new position players this season.
Mayberry and the Bobcats, though, just found ways to win games.
The team finished the year with a 15-7 record, was the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A regional tournament played at Eudora High School and lost a heartbreaker to Bishop Ward in the championship game.
The team also had five players earn All-Kaw Valley League honors for their performances this season.
“We had a great season and these kids played above and beyond what anybody thought they could,” Mayberry said. “You have to have talent. We had talent, but we had great team chemistry. You can have all the talent, but you have to have chemistry,” she said. “This was a high-energy, positive group to work with. Five of the players were honored and I am pretty proud of what we accomplished.”
Mayberry is a veteran coach for the Bobcats, having established a winning program where each player who has graduated has been offered a chance to play college softball. The chemistry extends beyond the current roster to alumni as well. Each year, about a dozen former players return for Senior/Alumni Night and throw out first pitches.
Mayberry learns from each team.
“Every year that I have been the coach there, we take something from every season,” she said. “I think back on this season, how a lot of people might have questioned our chances of competing, graduating five seniors. One of the things I will remember is we had a whole new look, but we had the same success.”
The Bobcats played a 23-inning game against Lansing, which set a state record for most innings played.
While the Bobcats lost the game, the team went on to earn a No. 1 seed in regionals and fell just short of a trip to state.
“We had a great game plan and attitude in regionals. We just came up short,” Mayberry said. We had positives throughout the season.”
The team also battled its share of adversity.
“Every team has its own challenges, but I can’t say enough about this team,” she said. “If you talk about resilience, this is one of the most resilient teams I’ve coached. They were so resilient to bounce back and to play for each other and personal situations. There are a lot of things the fans, media and parents don’t see because we spend that much time together. They see the end result, but we appreciate it because we lived through a lot of challenges and persevered.”