Glenn head softball coach Marissa Guzman heard it on the bus on the way back from the Grizzlies’ second-round playoff game: ‘We’ll get them next year.’
It’s a common phase in the sports world, but in the case of Glenn, the refrain is extra applicable.
The Grizzlies made it to the second round of the playoffs this season, losing to A&M Consolidated 8-2 in their second-round matchup on Saturday, one round further than they made it last year and two steps past how they finished in their first season.
“It was just an assessment of where we are and where we want to be,” Guzman said. “It was a sense of belief that we could do it. It was a satisfying feeling. The hunger is still there, but the feeling is there that we can keep going.”
A&M Consolidated broke up the scoreless game with a home run in the fourth and followed that up with a grand slam in the fifth inning. Glenn freshman Rileigh Harris finished with eight strikeouts and hit a two-run home run in the sixth.
The second round matchup against A&M Consolidated was supposed to be a best-of-three series but turned into a winner-take-all game in Waco due to weather.
“I know my kids were disappointed in losing, but it’s hard to get too upset when you lose to a quality team. They weren’t satisfied,” Guzman said. “They wanted to play past STAAR testing. I told them when we make it past round three, they’ll know what it’s like.”
Guzman is an intense coach that, understandably, expects the best. She said the team’s resilience to believe in her
“I expect a lot of them and I know it can be hard,” Guzman said. “But it’s not all on me. They’re willing to work. They don’t like missing reps and they hold each other accountable. They always want more and I think that’s a good sign.”
In addition to the softball team’s successful year, the football team made a deep run, boys’ basketball made the playoffs for the first time this season and several individuals represented the Grizzlies as the state track, wrestling and swimming competitions.
Many schools across the area have a quality program in many sports, but it’s taken just three seasons for the Grizzlies to get a foothold.
Guzman said it starts at the top. Football coach and athletic coordinator Rob Schoenfeld saw a wealth of success as a member of the state-title winning football staff at Cedar Park, and principle Arturo Lomeli expects the same success out of the school building.
“It was about expectations when I had my interview,” she said. “I didn’t care we were new and I didn’t care the kids’ age. I knew what the program needed and what it takes to get there. It trickles down. I knew we would push through the early years and everybody at the school would have my back.”
The Grizzlies have surpassed a lot of the goals they set for the softball program since playing against Class 4A teams the last two seasons, some of which are still alive in the playoffs this season.
“When you’re in 4A, you’re traveling far to play other schools, but when you’re in 5A you’re going against kids that you went to elementary school with,” Guzman said. “It was just always wanting to prove a point that we do belong. We do belong.”