First-year Glenn Grizzlies softball head coach Marissa Guzman knew that her youthful team would be facing a brutal gauntlet of foes in the program’s debut season, but odds are even Guzman didn’t realize just how good District 19-4A would turn out to be for the challenges her team faced.
Glenn field a team of freshmen and sophomores in a league that included Liberty Hill — the top-ranked team in the state — and three teams that made the top twenty rankings (Salado, Lampasas and Taylor) with the two other district foes (Burnet and Llano) having returning varsity pitchers.
“It was both a humbling and learning experience," said Guzman, “The first round of district we got run ruled by every opponent, it was not much fun.”
But Guzman indicated her team kept practicing hard and playing hard and rather than accepting of the defeats, sought ways to improve.
“The girls really had a good energy and it started to show, it would have been very easy to quit against teams that had select level pitchers with state-ranked offenses but the girls kept battling,” Guzman said.
Rather than giving up, the Grizzlies had several close games in their second round of district including a narrow 3-1 loss to a Taylor team that at the time was tied for second place.
“I think the Taylor loss was important because the girls recognized that something was coming from all their hard work,” Guzman said.
The UIL was fair in times of geographic alignment, however, the reality is in that in all girls sports, particularly softball and volleyball, District 19-4A was likely strong top to bottom. For example District 19-5A featured Elgin, Rouse and Cedar Park, but also included much weaker core of teams on the bottom based on comparative scores and head to head results.
“We learned a lot this season and will really work hard in the summer and offseason to be prepared to be more competitive next year," Guzman said as the Grizzlies will likely play just one more year in the uber-competitive 19-4A before growing into the 5A classification.
Likely bigger is better at least in terms of winning opportunities for the Grizzly softball team.