HEGINS, Pa. — The Tri-Valley softball team won their first ever PIAA state championship last season. This year, they're picking up right where they left off.
"Most would say expected," Tri-Valley senior infielder Lexi Snyder said. "Most would say we're used to it, but I would say we earned it. We work hard every day. We go to practice. We do our best and we always come out on top."
Always. After graduating just one senior, this season, the Lady Bulldogs aren't just winning, they're dominating. The Lady Dawgs are a perfect 14-0, out-scoring the competition 195-12, but in his 31st season, Marty Shade knows there are no secrets.
"Simple: talent," Shade, Tri-Valley's softball coach, said. "I have good players. I'm more of a players coach and like Bobby Knight said, 'Give me good players and I'll win.'"
Here in Hegins, there is a sign in front of the high school commemorating last year's state championship team. It serves as both a reminder of the past and motivation for the future.
"As of right now, we didn't win nothing yet," Shade said. "We're basically the same team. I've just hope that they still have the hunger that we had last year, but I think they do."
"I think we have a better chance this year than we did last year, personally," Tri-Valley senior infielder Sydney Schley said. "It's motivated all of us to want it even more, seeing last year how we could come through. Starting on top every game this year just comes to show that we can push through and beat literally almost everyone."
"We're a small school, graduating class is 65," Snyder added. "It motivates us a lot. We want to be the back-to-back state champions. We want to earn it.