In a case of quality over quantity, the Weatherford College Coyotes softball team managed a successful fall workout season despite the challenges of a COVID-19 pandemic, head coach Haylee Williams said.
The last day of fall team workouts ended with scrimmages against Navarro College on Nov. 2. Now the team's offseason program gets underway Nov. 9 through Thanksgiving break.
Earlier this semester, the Coyotes had to go into a team quarantine for two weeks because of COVID-19. A little later, Williams had to quarantine herself for 14 days.
"My assistant Chris Flanagan is a wonderful coach and did a great job with the team while I was gone," Williams said. "So, we did miss a good amount of time due to COVID, but we have made the best of it and take every opportunity we do get to get as much in as possible. Quality over quantity."
And while scores aren't a main topic during the fall, Williams noted the team has looked good in the scrimmages they managed to get in.
"We have played well," she said. "Most of our scrimmages were cancelled, so we haven't had a lot of opportunities for outside competition."
With the shortened fall season, the returning, experienced players have been crucial to the development of younger newcomers, especially third-year sophomores, Williams noted.
"Having third-year sophomores has been a huge asset for us. They have been good leaders and examples for our freshmen to look to for how things should be done," Williams said. "They show what confidence, work ethic, high energy and dedication look like."
She also said several newcomers, and returning players, have made quite an impression this fall.
"Our freshman class have done a good job of pushing the sophomores. They are a talented group and continue to get better and learn.
Every day in practice is very competitive," she said. "This may be the deepest roster we have had, which will be important in a year like this."
She also said of the team's chemistry, "They all push each other to work hard and to go all out."
One thing that has been greatly hampered, however, is getting a glimpse of other teams in the conference and region, she said.
"I haven't been able to watch anyone in our conference this fall. Some schools are not playing a fall schedule," she said. "I know though, like every year, this conference will be one of the toughest in the country. It will be a grind from the start to finish."
And while no one can say when the pandemic will be over and COVID will be behind us, the spring season is still on track to be a full schedule for the most part.
"We have already had some cancellations of preseason tournaments, but we will adjust and find games to fill those dates," Williams said.