Prosper softball

Prosper softball had aspirations of a district championship quashed by the statewide cancellation of high school sports.

There are many sports programs across the state that are in mourning and thinking about what could have been this spring thanks to all UIL sports officially being cancelled for the remainder of the school year last week.

Count Prosper and Celina among those with teams across the board stuck pondering that exasperating question of what could have been. 

On the boys side, the Prosper soccer team had already clinched a playoff spot before the coronavirus pandemic hit while still being alive to win a district title, on the baseball diamond, Proper was picked to finish second in district and had the talent to make a deep playoff run.

As impressive as the boys side of the equation is, the Prosper girl programs where in line to do some legendary things as both the softball and girls’ soccer teams were trending towards winning district titles along with have legit chances to bring home a state title. 

At Celina, the Lady Bobcats’ may only be in their infancy as a soccer program but had a chance at a history-making season dashed. Celina closed the year on a 10-match unbeaten streak, during which it outscored opponents, 44-3, and rose all the way to No. 3 in their region in the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches’ post-district rankings.

For the Lady Eagle softball team, this season was going as planned. They won their first two games of district by shutting out McKinney and Plano East and were beginning to flex their muscles at the plate and in the field. But thanks to COVID-19, the great start to district was all for naught as no one will know if this talented group could have reached their ultimate goal.

As a result, senior third baseman Julia Bumford, who had five home runs on the season and became the program’s all-time leading home run leader just a few days before action came to a stop, won’t get to put a bow on her stellar career. Despite dealing with her individual dream season ending abruptly, Bumford’s heart and emotions are with her fellow teammates as the group collectively felt they were robbed from staking claim as the best to come through Prosper. 

“We were super excited because we had great chemistry and were one team that was in position to do great things, and to have all that taken from us hurts, especially since it was my last ride as a high school softball player,” Bumford said. “You don’t think your season or career will end this way, but this is our reality. I think people will look back at our group and see we where a bunch of leaders who made a difference.

“I will miss each everyone in the program and everyone knows I’m always just a phone call away.”

Sentiments were very similar for Prosper on the soccer field as the Lady Eagles were nationally and state ranked while being in position to grab a district title and trend toward reaching its potential. But thanks to the coronavirus, Prosper senior forward Lauren Miller, the reigning District 9-6A co-Utility Player of the Year, and the entire program are having to deal with the reality that despite morphing into serious contenders for the program’s first state title they won’t get a chance to make their dream come true. 

The hurt comes extra hard for Miller and her fellow senior teammates — besides being part of the best all-around senior class in Prosper athletics history they lost out on a chance to top their state semifinal appearance they achieved during their freshman season. Now, with everything officially over, Miller has chosen to remember all the positive memories she’s made over the last four years while keeping an upbeat attitude in an unimaginable situation.  

“This stings a little harder because I feel this is the best chance we had to bring home a state title and everything was clicking, which makes this hurt that much more,” Miller said. “I think they will remember us for our chemistry and the foundation we laid for the program this season as we definitely hope the program wins a state title soon. I consider all my friends in the program friends for life and I will use this situation to add to my fire to play like it’s my last game in college next season.”

For continued coverage of the local sports scene, follow Kendrick E. Johnson on Twitter @kendrickjohnso

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