By Jacki Wood
The Platte Valley softball co-op between Jefferson and South Nodaway enters its fourth season. And the tradition they have built will remain the same.
“We always want to improve from the year before,” Coach Shelly Deen said, who is in her ninth year as head coach. She will be assisted by Adam Henry and Melinda Claycomb. “Our first goal is to win conference and then win districts. Hopefully we can meet these goals and then go from there.”
Platte Valley finished undefeated in conference last year and went 14-13 overall, with losses to several Class 3 teams in tournaments.
“All three of our tournaments allow us to see bigger schools and different pitchers,” Deen said. “We always find a way to compete and I look forward to the girls working hard and being the best they can be come October.”
The team lost four seniors to graduation, Amber White, Vanessa Pappert, Ashley Riley and Kiera Greer, and Deen said they will have to find someone to fill those shoes just like any other year.
Platte Valley will do that with a core group of returning players including pitchers Jessie Miller and Sydnee Deen, catcher Kaylin LaMaster and Jackie Pappert who stepped in at the end of the season, infielders Malia Collins and Allie Wolf and outfielders Ashley Mattson and Megan Galbraith.
“We have a great group of girls that will work hard and will battle for each position,” Deen said. “Going into the year, I want to work on communication and coming together as a team.”
Platte Valley will begin the regular season on September 3 at home versus North Harrison.