Lady Bronco softball team builds chemistry in summer season
By Patrick Osborne,
Mustang softball is getting ready to finish its first summer under first-year coach Bryan Howard as the team prepares for the upcoming fall season.
Change in leadership can be difficult for some teams to adjust, but so far Howard said he has been pleased with how the girls have been handling this transition period.
“It has been a really good summer,” he said. “The girls are starting to adapt to me and my program and how things will be done. It took some time and some work, but they are finally starting to get it. This is very important for the girls and especially the younger ones. This is the first summer the girls have done something like this, so I’m very pleased with how they’ve handled it.”
Howard has kept the girls busy this summer as they start to build the new program’s foundation, but he said the girls are also growing as a team and getting used to each other out on the diamond.
Howard said Tuesdays and Thursdays are the longest days of the week for the program. The girls start with morning workouts that include speed and agility drills, followed by a short practice. The girls return to the field later that night for a doubleheader. The Broncos also hold workout and practice sessions every Wednesday morning as well.
Howard said it has surprised him how fast the younger Lady Broncos have come in and started to compete with the older girls as they mesh into one team.
“The incoming freshmen girls have been great. I didn’t expect what I’ve seen out of them. They’ve really come in and competed.”
Although everyone is still in a state of learning, Howard also said this summer has been has been a successful one because the younger girls get to come in and learn from senior leaders like University of Oklahoma commit Jayden Chestnut and Caisey Jones.
“Caisey has been a great surprise,” he said. “She has been the picture of what hard work looks like and really sets the tone for us as a team at practice.”
Jones agreed with Howard, saying that she believes she has been able to come in and show the younger girls the ropes even though she has been adjusting to new things just as they are.
“(The summer) is going really well,” she said. “We’ve never done anything like this. The girls are really into it. We just need to continue working together as a team.”