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HCHS softball has high expectations for next year

South Boston News
HCHS softball head coach Jennifer Rutledge Rutledge talks with this year’s lone senior, Carol Fears, during the Tuscarora game. (David Conner II photo) / June 11, 2018
Despite a tough loss Tuesday, Halifax County High School varsity softball has high expectations for next season.

The Comets’ season ended with a 2-0 loss to Tuscarora in the Class 5 state tournament quarterfinals. Prince George won the Class 5 final with an 11-4 win over Brooke Point in the state finals Saturday.

Halifax enjoyed an excellent season under interim coach Jennifer Rutledge.

“We’re a young team. I think we’re very talented. I anticipate us being really good next year,” said Rutledge.

“I thought we were really good this year. I think we’ll be even better next year,” said Rutledge.

This team lost just one senior, pitcher Carol Fears, who delivered an inspirational effort leading this team to the state tournament.

The team returns plenty of experience, and Rutledge believes this year’s run will be helpful. She believes the team can go further next season.

Halifax has a strong core returning.

“The program is talented all the way down. We have a lot of talent coming from the middle school to the jayvee, young talent, but very strong talent, too,” said Rutledge.

“Really, really excited about them coming up and joining the squad,” she said.

Halifax will have leadership candidates from the current junior class. She said next year this group will be even stronger.

Rutledge plans to give 110 percent to the program regardless of her role.

She savored the season as interim head coach.

“It’s been a roller coaster, to say the least,” said Rutledge. “Starting off with (head coach) Woody (Bane) having that heart attack really hurt our team. Just worrying about him, you know,” said Rutledge. Bane has mended well.

Halifax felt the loss of leadership and considerable talent with the passing of Olivia Noblin. Stellar softball player Mackenzie Lawter has moved on to start her college student-athlete experience at Virginia Tech.

The Comets had to find answers.

“They really played with heart. They gave their heart and soul out there, and that’s all you can ask for as a coach,” said Rutledge.

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