Central Lady Devils have ‘no fear’ of competition

Published: Apr. 30, 2023 at 9:05 PM EDT
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PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - The Central High Lady Devils have made a statement and it’s written on the back of their jerseys.

“No Fear, No Limits, No Excuses” has been their motto for the season as they roll into the No. 1 spot in the Alabama Class 7A region. In their 32 regular-season wins, Central has beaten Hewitt-Trussville, Thompson, and Spain Park. Head coach Mitchell Holt said the games were tough and they were able to accomplish something bigger than just a win.

“It was a good stretch of games for us,” Coach said. “We had to come back in every game, but it was very rewarding and probably led us to be No. 1.”

This is the first time Central High softball has clinched the top spot. Sophomore pitcher Ally Supan said part of the team’s motivation to win has been for the seniors. In last year’s state tournament, Central was knocked out by Thompson in the second round.

“I feel like we had more gas in the tank,” she said.

Senior Haley Jernigan said the big wins are turning heads.

“They knew of us, but not how good we can be,” she said. “When we went out there and beat all those teams, everyone was like ‘Wow!’ and now we just really want to keep going and show everyone we are the deal.”

The motto on the back of the jerseys was created by the seniors on the team. Head Coach Mitchell Holt said it means having no fear, pushing beyond your limits, and making zero excuses on and off and the diamond.

“No excuses are just not having a crutch and not having a reason why you didn’t perform,” he explained. “Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is part of growth.”

Even when the Lady Red Devils are not in practice or school, they’re hanging out together, which is something Jernigan says she’ll miss after graduation.

“I’m going to miss the chemistry and the friendships,” she said. “We just come out here and have a good time. You’ll never see a person down; if they are, they get right back up.”

Sophomore Geritt Griggs says it’s been fun growing up with the girls.

“Most people have played with each other since we were like eight years old, so we have really grown up together,” Griggs said. “We have really progressed throughout the years just getting to know each other’s flaws and differences.”

Central takes on Opelika in the first round of the area tournament. The Lady Devils defeated the Opelika Bulldogs in a two-game series with a combined score of 25-3. Coach Holt is trying to carry on that momentum because “it’s all about how you finish.”

“We’ve got another day or two of enjoying what happened in the regular season, but on Monday, everybody’s 0-0 as far as wins and losses,” he said. “You’ve got to win four games to get to state, and that’s all that matters.”

The Alabama 7A Area 4 tournament begins Monday, May 1. Auburn will host Smiths Station at 5:30 p.m. Opelika at Central will follow at 7:30 p.m.