Trojans end memorable season
Hillsboro ends year with 15-2 loss to Haven, but freshmen look promising
Hillsboro High coach Stephanie Sinclair wrapped up this season and decades of coaching softball with no regrets.
The Trojans lost their final game 15-2 against Haven, but she is still proud of a team that matured incoming freshmen and fostered leadership in its seniors.
Hesston High softball coach Alyssa Kroeker will guide the team next season.
“If you’re talking about my coaching job I should start right now,” said Kroeker, who also teaches math.
“My official job won’t start until August,” she said. “I hope the team will just love the game of softball and want to improve every day. That’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
Hillsboro High had its first appearance at state in 2009 under Sinclair, won in 2012, and was runner-up in 2014 and 2015.
The team missed state this year, but the girls still did great things.
Senior Dani Klein broke two at Hillsboro High School records — one for highest seasonal batting average at .652 and another for highest number of runs scored in a single season with 47.
“She also never struck out at the plate this season after appearing 83 times at bat,” Sinclair said of Klein, who will play softball at Park University in Kansas City.
Peabody’s Skylre Stucke was a “solid player all the way around” for Hillsboro, Sinclair said.
Tuesday Weisbeck and Kori Arnold both boosted the spirits of teammates by keeping a positive attitude.
“Tuesday is a huge encourager,” she said. “She takes part in nearly all athletics and brings a real positive energy to any team. I am glad I have coached her all these years.”
Sinclair also was impressed by freshmen on the team who stepped up when other players were quarantined or injured.
Savannah Shahan, Jerusalem Driggers, and Bailee Gawith will continue to be an asset to the team, she said.
“All three did some very nice things for us this season,” she said.
Sinclair said she has been blessed with the support of parents and will miss the girls, but intends to move closer to family in Nebraska.
But she always will remember the girls who showed up this year on a Sunday because they wanted to learn the game and get better.
“This is probably one of the most fun group of girls I have coached,” she said. “They all have been hard workers.”