Ridgefield softball may be entering a new era with a new coach and fresh faces after being one of the area’s most consistently strong squads the past three seasons, but the expectations haven’t changed.
What last year’s senior class, which ended with a third-place state trophy — the team’s highest finish since 2004 — left behind is a program with a higher bar than ever before. While the Jenkins (Sarah and Emma) and Oliver (Kaia and Karli) sisters are irreplaceable, the Spudders were excited to begin their 2020 campaign before spring sports were put on ice.
“We want to go out and show everybody what we got,” senior first baseman Hailee Gruber said. “Losing those five senior girls is hard on the team, but we wanted to go and show we’re still just as good and have even more potential.”
Heading the transitional time for the Spudders is first-year coach Kelsey Anchors. The surname is a familiar one in Ridgefield. Former coach Dusty Anchors, who led the team for three years, died in May after a battle with heart disease. Kelsey is the youngest of his four daughters.
“Ultimately his goal was for me to coach at Ridgefield,” Kelsey Anchors said. “I want to pass on that legacy while still making the team and program my own.”