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Bluestone softball returns to playing field thankful and ready to play ball / April 07, 2021
The Bluestone varsity softball team has been holding conditioning sessions for around two weeks now and head coach Shelby Brown Averette said things are going well.

Averette took the Baron girls to postseason play in 2019 for the first time in several seasons. The girls played one of two scrimmages last year before the spring sport season was canceled due to COVID-19.

In that 2020 preseason matchup, against Kenston Forest, Bluestone played a great game. The team lost 3-0 but all the runs came at the top of the seventh inning after a change of pitchers for Bluestone, setting the stage for what looked to be an excellent season moving forward.

Averette said the time away from the game has helped all those involved with the program appreciate the simple opportunity to play.

“I think not playing last year truly showed us how much this game means to us, players and coaches,” Averette said. “We missed out on so much.

“We missed out on a year of memories, but we are here now and thankful more than ever that we get to play the game we love.”

When the Mecklenburg County School Board was determining last month whether to allow a spring sports season, Averette was one of the coaches that attended the meeting to speak in favor of allowing sports to reopen.

Her request didn’t go unheard as her comments were full of emotion after a year no sports in Mecklenburg County schools. Averette said while it is about being able to coach, it’s more about the kids you’re fortunate enough to coach.

“It’s a coach’s dream to coach a talented team, but it’s an even better dream to coach a talented team with the best attitudes and that is what Bluestone softball has right now,” Averette said. “When the coaches ask them to do something, they do it. When we push them, they push harder. These girls are a special group of girls.”

As the official practice/tryout time of April 12 approaches for the regular season, Averette said the girls are preparing for this year as they would every other season — determined. She also expressed thanks for her coach staff and coaching support she receives.

Averette said she is looking for a solid season, and is looking forward to growing 2019’s accomplishments. She said the team is definitely putting in the work.

“They are working hard each and every day to get better,” Averette said. “I can’t wait to see what this season brings.

“It’s going to be a good and exciting year, but I certainly couldn’t do this without Coach DeSantis or Coach Crutchfield.”

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