State champion softball team honored
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Wed., Jun. 20, 2012
In lieu of a ticker-tape parade, the Rockville High School varsity softball team was honored for winning the Class L state championship at a ceremony on June 11 in the RHS auditorium. Principal Eric Baim said that during his tenure at the school, the program has always been strong.
“In my six years being an administrator here at Rockville High School, our softball team has been known to be a good team,” Baim said. “They've always had winning records and they have built a reputation around the state as being a solid team with good athletes.”
Baim gave credit to coach Frank Levick for the players' good work ethic that led to their championship. “Coach Frank Levick instilled in our girls that they would be the hardest-working team both in the off-season and during the season,” Baim said, adding that the team also shrugged off its only two losses of the season, saying, “We'll bounce back.”
Baim recapped the team's tournament games, including the final game vs. Foran, in which Christina Pettingill – the team's catcher – came back from an injury to hit a home run. “Fans went crazy, students went everywhere, parents and friends were cheering loudly,” he said, adding that while Foran tied the score after that, the team did not let that bother them, “like a championship team.”
Athletic Director Steven Phelps said the players handled themselves like champions all season long. “The girls gave maximum effort on the field,” he said. “They showed a positive attitude. The girls paid attention to the small details that helped them win, they used visualization skills to help them through the tough plays, they had goals for each game this season, and they knew how to change those negative thoughts that creep in once in a while to positive thoughts.”
Levick said the players worked hard during the off-season, and he commended them on their academics. With all but one player (senior Elissa Graf) returning next year, he said a repeat championship is not out of the question. “I'm sure it's been talked about, but these players don't look that far ahead,” he said. “It's just one game at a time.”
“You are an inspiration to all future athletes who walk our hallways and want to be a part of Rockville High School athletics,” Phelps told the players. Phelps said there had been a low turnout of fans for the school's sports teams in the past few years, but those numbers are increasing. The softball team's championship win is an example of the level of athletes Vernon has, and what a Rockville team can accomplish.
“What you've seen with this particular program is just going to lead to a lot of other programs trying to do the same thing,” he said.