Clarksville, TN – Clarksville Academy’s middle school softball team wins it all in the TIAA tournament. In CA’s Cinderella story, these girls traded their glass slippers for cleats and hard work. This was no ordinary team or season.
In the early fall, Athletic Director, Jake Peterson, sent out a request for middle school softball players.
In 2019, CA fielded their first, middle school team. Not only did the team have just enough girls to take the field, over half that team had never played softball before.
It was a challenging year, and in the spring of 2020, no one committed to play. Spirits were low, but Clarksville Academy was determined to turn the program around. The first step in that process was the hiring of veteran coach Gene Rose.
“Coach Rose’s hiring was a turning point for our program. His history with coaching and drive to improve our program was just what we needed to be successful. Our girls believed in him from the beginning, and the results of the season show that. In our first year in the TIAA, I was so happy for the girls and coaches. A first-year program gets things going. To find a way to be champions of the league is extremely impressive! I appreciate the leadership from Coach Gene Rose, Mike Trent, and Cara Miller. They are the ones that really put our IS Softball program in motion. We have an eager group of players and parents to grow our softball program, and I am excited about the future of our entire softball program.” Jake Peterson, Athletic Director.
The Cougars had a full season with both district and non-district games. Their 10-4 record shows a drastic improvement from 2019. Two of the four losses were to undefeated Davidson Academy. In the second round of the TIAA tournament, they came face to face again. This time, the girls were determined to come out on top. In the final play of the semi-final game, CA struck out Davidson to advance to the next round. The girls were ready for the Championship.
The Cougars traveled to Friendship Christian School, the underdogs in the tournament, and came out swinging. After a hard-fought game, they were victorious in their quest for the gold!
This team is not just strong; they are mighty. They fielded a team of thirteen players, six of who are 5th graders, four 6th graders, one 7th grader, and finally, just two 8th graders. These girls have many years of teamwork ahead. While it would have been easy for the older players to discount the efforts of the ten 5th and 6th graders, that was never the case. Every player contributed somehow this season, whether it was a strikeout, great fielding play, or a clutch hit at the plate.
Coach Rose, “This group of girls were a team from the start. It was always about what they could do to help each other to improve as a whole. I see great things for the program as a whole. Having a good middle school program will help develop players that will also help the high school program. Both the middle school and varsity coaches continue to work together to develop a strong overall CA Softball program.”