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The Aledo Lady Bearcats (28-7) are gearing up to take on Georgetown in the UIL Class 5A State Semifinals game on Friday at 1 p.m. Aledo has definitely earned their spot among the best in the state. Let's take a look at how they got to the state semifinals.
The Lady Bearcats took an early loss against Mansfield Lake Ridge, but quickly regrouped and ran away with a handful of wins. Throughout the season, Aledo has posted many big wins against the likes of Burleson Centennial, Mansfield, Cedar Hill, Fort Worth North Side, Granbury, Azle, Wichita Falls Rider, and more en route to the playoffs.
With a 9-1 district record, the Lady Bearcats finished at the top of their district over Azle and Brewer before heading into the playoffs. In the playoffs, Aledo has beaten the likes of Lake Dallas (2-0), Burleson Centennial (2-1), Colleyville Heritage (2-1), and Abilene Cooper (2-1). Last week, Aledo defeated Justin Northwest in a one-game Regional Finals round before heading to the state semifinals.
Outscoring their opponents by over 200 runs, the Lady Bearcats have been on fire from the plate all season long. While we have seen a lot of strength from the Aledo offense, their defense has also done a great job stopping the momentum of their opponents.
As the Lady Bearcats look ahead to the semifinals, they'll find a pretty evenly matched team in Georgetown. If Aledo can get on the board early and hold strong in their defense as they have done all season, fans can expect to see the Lady Bearcats playing for a state title.
The Aledo softball program has been making waves this season as they've posted an 18-3 overall record (9-1 in district play) with an 86% win percentage. Leading the charge at the head of the team is fearless head coach Heather Myers. VYPE DFW caught up with Coach Myers to learn a little bit more about her and what makes her tick.
Coach Myers is a Graham Lady Blue softball alumni who took her talents to the next level and played college softball. Her first year of coaching dates back to 2011 when she began coaching for Mansfield Summit High School. One piece of advice that has stuck with her and impacts her coaching is a phrase her father used to tell her: "It will feel better when it quits hurting." Coach Myers went on to explain that "with each new year, it rings true more and more for all situations. Get hurt, it will feel better when it quits hurting; lose a game, it will feel better when it quits hurting…"
With a shortened season in 2020 due to a global pandemic, one could say that Coach Myers' father's advice was something great to hang onto. "We do a lot of reflection on the importance of commitment, team, worth ethic, individual roles, etc.," said coach Myers. "My coaching staff and I feel once everyone buys into the "team", there's nothing we cannot accomplish. After losing last season, understanding the value of TEAM came to the forefront and we've really tried to stress the importance of having a positive team culture and know that every role is vital to success."
Coach Myers' goal for Aledo this season is simple, she says. "Take each game one pitch at a time, try to win every inning and never let any situation get too big."
With great coaching combined with the team's focus, Coach Myers recently earned her 100th career win. Coach Myers acknowledged that everyone hard work went into the accomplishment. "It's always nice to be recognized for accomplishments, but it was not me alone who did it. It took a lot of long nights and sacrifices from both the families of coaches and players as well as the athletes themselves to get to that goal. I am truly humbled by the whole experience and very thankful to be a part of such an exceptional program."
According to Coach Myers, the secret to the team's success this season is team unity. "They have bought into each other and the success of this team and it shows," Myers told VYPE. Being able to trust her athletes has played a key role in her success as a coach. "Building trust and holding them to a high standard. We work very hard to push the girls out of their comfort zone so that no situation is too big or insurmountable. We have the mindset that we will work harder than everyone we face and if we don't then we're not doing our job."
"You get out what you put in," is Coach Myers' mantra with her team. "Sometimes when you have a good team, they forget they still have to work harder than everyone else to achieve their goals, so we often remind them that they will get out of practice exactly what they put in… so put in max effort."
As much as she has taught the team, the team has- in turn- taught a lot to Coach Myers. "They are coachable, resilient, competitive, talented, knowledgeable, and Gritty with a capital G!"
It's no doubt that this season has been exciting for both the team and coaches. Because of that, the season is not taken for granted. "It means a whole lot," Myers said. "When something is ripped away with no warning, you tend to see its value in a different and renewed way than before. Coaching softball has never been just a job to me and after everything, I'm certain this is what I was called to do."
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