By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent
Making the Elite Eight means two things – the eight softball teams that have fought their way through a couple of playoff rounds are truly elite, and any of the eight has a good chance to win a state championship.
Making it this far is tough enough that the last time Southside High made it, in 1989, Angie Reavis Sanders was a player.
“I’m telling everybody that,” she said. “I’m excited and I’m proud of these girls. They’ve worked hard for it. There can’t be a harder working team in the state.”
Sanders isn’t the only person who is looking forward to the tournament.
“Everyone is out of this world excited,” Sanders said. “Businesses have donated money, the city has donated money and everyone is reaching out to us, making us even more excited. I expect a good crowd at our games.”
Sanders’ parent hosted a sign-making party Monday.
That ’89 trip was when all schools played slow-pitch.
The Panthers open play Friday (May (17) at 12 p.m. against Saraland, a school that was only organized a few years ago in the Mobile area.
“I’ve been coaching for 16 years,” Sanders said. “And in that time, I’ve experienced a lot of excitement but it’s been a little while since we did anything big. I’ve been fighting back tears of joy and pride ever since we won that last game at regional.”