During the summers in Northwest Iowa many people spend time on the water or enjoy the long days outdoors with friends and family.
But, these young ladies are doing something different.
“When you love what you are doing in the summer,” Bailee Newman said. “There is nothing else that you want to do.”
“We love it,” Carter Hassel added. “We dedicate our summers to it. Instead of working and making money, we want be out here and going to states.”
The SpiritLake softball team set out this year with a list of goals and the most important one was in bold.
“Softball is a sport that you have to dedicate your time,” chimed in Kayla Herrig. “For us it’s real easy because everyone wants the same thing and to go to the state championship.”
Iowa is different than any other state in the country in the fact that high school softball is played when school is not in session. With vacation on the minds of many young girls it can be tough to get a team together, but Rachel Gerking was able to fill out a roster, and it is a good one.
“We have had a phenomenal year,” Coach Gerking said. “We won the conference for the first time since 2006 and qualified for states for the first time since 2006. This is credit to these girls and the time and effort they have put in this season.”
SpiritLake won 23 games on the season including knock off two top-15 teams in the regional tournament on their way to a state tournament bid.
“It is really rewarding because we had worked so hard throughout the offseason and during the year just to get to this point,” said Hassel. “This was one of our big goals and it is just rewarding to get to the state tournament.”
But, just getting to the state tournament isn’t enough for this team. SpiritLake wants to complete the dream season.
“Oh my gosh that would be the best thing ever,” said Herrig. “We have been putting so much time into this and just knowing it would be the greatest reward to win state. It would be unbelievable.”
“These girls are capable of anything,” Coach Gerking added. “They just find a way to get it done every single day. Anything can happen at state.
Now going out on a high note for this team would mean turning that poster board into a state championship trophy.