Glencoe softball preview 2019
What do you do on the heels of back-to-back Metro League softball titles? Start from scratch.
The Glencoe Crimson Tide are doing just that. After sharing the Metro League crown in each of the last two seasons, the Tide enter this season not in the Metro League, but rather in the newly resurrected Pacific Conference, where they'll tackle the competition with a handful of returning starters, a handful more fresh faces, and the same approach with which they tackle every season.
"Every year is different, even if we had all the girls returning from last year's team," said Glencoe head coach Jason Eastman. "They are all a year older and have gained experiences from last year and while playing at the national level this summer against and with some of the best in the country."
While the Tide return a handful of starters, including All-Metro League first-teamers Morgan DeBord and Jensen Becker, they did see the departure of three other first-teamers: catcher Ashlynn Bailey, outfielder Taylor Butterfield and Metro League Pitcher of the Year Izzy Womack. As a result, Eastman said it's going to be incumbent upon his senior leaders — DeBord and Becker — to take the team by the reins and take them to where they want to go.
"Our strength is going to be our senior leadership of Jensen Becker and Morgan DeBord," said the coach. "They've been with this coaching staff four years now and understand the process of getting to where we want to be at the end of the season."
In addition to DeBord and Becker, Glencoe returns seven girls with extensive varsity experience, including Alivia Eastman, who earned an honorable mention from the Metro League last year at third base; juniors Emma Ware and Nici Eckhardt; and sophomores Dana Butterfield and Megan Gaskin. Also, Eastman said he expects a group of newcomers to provide added depth to an already-deep group of players.
"We have several freshmen and first-time varsity players battling for starting spots and specific roles with this year's group," he said. "The coaching staff is excited with the attitude and effort this group has put forward already."
Despite that depth, along with the returning standouts, Eastman said that as a coaching staff and team, they don't talk about expectations, but rather the process that leads to success.
"Expectations are something we don't focus on," said Eastman. "We try to teach as a coaching staff every chance we get, and the athletes will learn from every practice, every inning and every game. This is the 'process' that builds a program."
And how does the fourth-year head coach feel about the league and their competition?
"We are excited to be back in the Pacific League," he said. "The Pacific has amazing coaches and great softball players throughout. It will be a challenge every night we step on the field."
Glencoe participated in a jamboree Monday, March 11, and were set to face crosstown Hillsboro on Tuesday, March 12. They'll travel to West Salem Thursday, March 14, for a 5 p.m. game.