WHEELING - Linsly's softball team has eight letterwinners returning, so first-year coach Amanda Smith is excited about the Cadets' prospects.
''We have a lot of girls who can play many positions,'' Smith said. ''Practice has been going really well. The girls are excited to get the season under way.''
While Smith has plenty of experience returning, depth is still a concern. There are 13 players are the roster and, at this point, a few are banged up and won't hit the field right away.
''But the girls are keeping a positive attitude and encouraging each other,'' Smith said.
Smith spent last year, her first at the school, as an assistant for Darryl Crews. This season, Crews returns to the assistant role he had for many seasons under former coach Liz Hofreuter-Landini. Former Cadet Kayla Siedler is the other assistant coach.
The team is led by Emma Cecil. The team's lone senior, Cecil has earned all-OVAC accolades the past two seasons. Last year, she added second-team all-Valley to her resume.
''She has a lot of talent and works really hard,'' Smith said, noting Cecil also has a penchant for making her teammates better.
''She's a second-year captain along with (Ava) Tennant and (Sarah) Johnson,'' Smith said. ''They do a good job of keeping things positive.''
In addition to Tennant and Johnson, other returning junior letterwinners are: Peyton Coss, Karyn Kovalik and Danielle Muster.
Abby Miller and Katie Smith are the returning sophomore letterwinners.
The rest of the roster is comprised of junior Taniya Rolle, sophomore Katie Gedeon and freshmen Morgan Brunner, Madison Winters and America Nuckles-Polen.