D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - After a season cut way too short, senior softball players on the Coast thought they would never take the field as high schoolers again. But that changed on Monday, thanks to an innocent idea from a local coach.
“I actually had one of my assistant coaches on our travel team give me the idea and asked if I could put something like this together," coach of the Gulf Coast Shockers softball team Eric Bland said. "I looked into it, started sending out some messages, and that night once we put it on our team Facebook page, it just kind of blew up.”
For those playing, the ability to write their own final chapter of their high school careers was an unexpected gift.
“I’m excited because I get to finally have closure on my senior season and I’ll be ready to move on after this game to my college career,” Hancock graduate Ashley Sawyer said.
“We’re all just really excited," Ocean Springs graduate Natalie Hodge said. "A little bit nervous because most of us know it’s going to be our last game, but mostly excited.”
Even though it would be the last competition at the high school level, the numbers on the scoreboard were far from the most important part of the evening.
“Just playing, doing my best, and having fun," Hodge said. "I’m not really worried about the outcome of the game, I just want to play one last time.”
“This whole game is special because we all get to join together and do everything together this one last time," Sawyer said.
Some entered the game as friends, and some as strangers. But after the final out, they all shared a unique bond that will last a lifetime.
“I will definitely remember all the girls here because I haven’t met half of them, and this is new friendships that are going to be formed," Sawyer said. "I’m thankful for this opportunity.”