CHESTERTOWN - With determination and a spirited sense of teamwork, the 14 members of the North Warren Central varsity softball team are working hard toward achieving a winning season.
In the season's opening scrimmages and one recent non-league game, the players have been striving to play with a minimum of errors, tighten up their defense, and get their bats connecting, new coach Shannon Phelps said.
"This group of girls understands smart game play and will use many strategies to outplay their opponents," she said. "Our outfield is smart and quick - and our pitching is consistent."
Moving forward after several seasons with few wins, the Cougar girls are striving to be competitive, Phelps said.
"Our players have the drive to achieve, and they're not going to give up any games easily regardless of how tough their opponents are," she said.
Juniors Rachel Kenny and sophomore Anna Bennett are the likely pitchers for the 2009 season.
Several of the younger players have been practicing during the off-season to sharpen their skills, and this preparation is likely to pay off.
Among those seeking out professional instruction or working off-season were Abby Bruce, Chelsey Crossman, Alicia Yosco, Anna Bennett and Lesley Bruce, she said.
These younger players and others are likely to be leaders in 2010, she said.
The softball program at North Warren is now undergoing development, with the modified and junior varsity coaches working with Phelps to offer professional instruction during the Summer and elevate standards at the younger levels, she said.
Phelps has intimate knowledge of high standards. She's worked for years mentoring softball teams at Mohonasen and Voorheesville - two large Capital Region schools with renowned athletic programs.
In the meantime, don't count North Warren out for 2009, she said.
"We plan on being competitive this season with any team on our schedule," she said.
North Warren Cougars Softball 2009 Schedule
April 20 Lake George Home 4:15 p.m.
April 22 Warrensburg Away 4:15 p.m.
April 24 Salem Central Home 4:15 p.m.
April 27 Corinth Central Home 4:15 p.m.
April 29 Hadley-Luzerne Away 4:15 p.m.
May 1 Fort Ann Central Home 4:15 p.m.
May 6 Warrensburg Home 4:15 p.m.
May 8 Argyle Central Home 4:15 p.m.
May 11 Corinth Central Away 4:15 p.m.
May 13 Lake George Away 4:15 p.m.
May 15 Hartford Central Home 4:15 p.m.
May 18 Hadley-Luzerne Home 4:15 p.m.
North Warren Cougars Softball 2009 Roster
Chelsey Crossman Jr. 1B.3B
Rachael Kenney Jr. P
Lindsay Maresca Jr. RF
Jenna Remington Jr. CF
Sarah Turcotte Jr. LF
Anna Bennett So. 2B,P
Abby Bruce So. SS
Tia Needham So. 3B,1B,P
Morgan Tennyson So C
Jenna Allen Sr. RF
Kelsey Hamblin Sr. SS,P
Diana Monahan Sr. 2B
Leslie Bruce Jr. 2B,RF
Alicia Yosco Jr. 2B
Coach: Shannon Phelps