Following a six-win season last year, Florence understands it will have to earn every bit of respect it is given this season.
But the Lady Buffaloes want it that way rather than just resting on the laurels of eight returning starters.
“We’ve talked a lot about having that ugly word potential held over our head,” Florence head coach Brett Gola said.
But to this point, Florence (2-1) has already done a bit of proving it has more than potential this season.
The Lady Eagles finished third at the Bruceville-Eddy tournament this past weekend to begin the 2014 season on a positive note.
“To be able to place in our first tournament of the year shows that we’ve got to show people that we can be competitive and that we can compete in our district now,” Gola said. “We talked a lot about competing and getting over that hump this year.”
Gola said the Lady Buffaloes will count heavily on sophomore pitcher MacKenzie Futrell, a second-team all-district performer last season, and shortstop Clarissa Carranco, a first-teamer, to get over the hump this season.
Also with only one senior, Samantha Vaughan, on the roster, and just two upperclassmen total, Florence will still need its fair share of leadership from the veterans it has.
“We’re still really young,” Gola said. “Last year, we started six freshmen, and this year, we’re starting five sophomores and two freshmen.”
And while all of that sounds great on paper, Florence isn’t satisfied with being great on paper.
The Lady Buffaloes hope to be a contender in District 22-2A this season and are ready to prove it to the rest of the district.