Strength in Softball’s Normalcy

STORY OF 1 STRIKING SOFTBALL SQUAD

As we go about our daily lives --work, school, coaching, and so forth—we can be lulled into an almost false sense of security.

Back in May of 2016, when, after 10 successful years at Zachary High in Louisiana, including a recent state title run, Leslie Effferson-Yellott accepted the head coaching job at Denham Springs High School.  It was good for her family --closer to her daughter’s school-- and her career.  The Lady Jackets are typically a formidable squad in the state competition.  Things were looking pretty darn good.  She was ready to settle into the routines of coaching.

THE DELICATE GAME OF LIFE

Then, on August 13th, 2016 her community was devastated in the Great Flood of 2016.  Raging flood waters rose fast and high.  Twenty of Louisiana’s parishes were designated as disaster areas by FEMA. Catastrophic flooding submerged thousands of homes and businesses.

Denham Springs High School, 2016-2017 Softball Team

Kelly N. Jones, Principal, Knee Deep in Flood Waters Outside of DSHS

The fragility of life had come crashing down.

For the Denham Springs girls fastpitch softball team, most team members (22 of 26) lost their houses and many lost their cars.  To make matters worse, they even lost their school as damages done made conducting classes an impossibility.  Softball activities were unthinkable.

STRENGTH IN THE NUMBER ONE

As a result, the school year began at their Live Oak High School, where they had to partition the day for attendance and other logistical concerns.  In a “strength of spirit” type way, they still managed to create a really cool kind of hybrid logo for the newly minted school teams.  It’s a small token, granted, in the grand scheme of things.   But it says something about the healing nature inherent in team sports.

And it got us thinking.  About how, when life deals you an undeniable blow, one that truly shakes you and your community to its very core, it can be something as simple as a softball team that can help buffer the storm.

SOFTBALL'S NORMALCY & TEAM SPIRIT

Practices, games, even the repetitive drills.  They can all provide comfort.   In troubling times, they can be a source of strength.  A redemption of the collective spirit.

We’re pretty sure Coach Effferson-Yellott, her family, the folks at Denham Springs/Live Oak High School and the community at large know this.  Their shared tragedy has pulled them together.

As we go about our daily lives in the business of team sports, or coaching or, of course, playing team sports, we should never forget this blessed truth:  There is strength to be found in the normalcy of softball.  Even in the toughest of times.

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