By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– Cascade softball’s Senior Day was suppose to be this past Monday, May 11, when the Cougars were set to face and host a strong Sweet Home-program that day.
One senior would have been honored that day for Cascade:
Yes, she’s been invited back to next year’s Senior Day, honoring her in other ways considering she couldn’t have her due diligence for her actual Senior year this particular Spring.
For athlete’s like a Boyles this Spring, some sports just have a special meaning to them looking back.
“Softball has been a big part of my life and I have been playing since I was eight years old,” said Boyles. “Once you get into high school, you watch all the other seniors have a senior night and you can’t wait to have your own. I was really looking forward to my final season as a cougar but unfortunately that wasn’t possible.
“The last three years of my high school softball career have been filled with so many fun moments and memories with my teammates and coaches. Some of the coaches and players on the Cascade team are people that I have played with since I was 10. It’s hard that I wasn’t able to play with these amazing people this year but I’m excited to cheer them on next year!”
Boyles was a first-team All-Oregon West Conference First-teamer as a Junior for the Cougars and was a second-team All-OWC player for the basketball team this past Winter. Cascade Basketball reached the opening round of the 4A playoffs, pushing La Grande to the brink for a berth in Forest Grove that next week.
In softball, Cascade went 16-11 and 10-8 in the OWC, being one of five conference teams last Spring to get a play-in game and one of four to get to the Field of 16.
It’s easy to take a sport for granted in the moment. Take a play off, there’s the next one. Take a practice off, tomorrow’s another. Then one day, it’s over. A lot of times, all too soon and when you’re least expecting it.
For Boyles, it came all too soon. A game wasn’t played. She was expecting that next play, that next practice, that next game. It never came. Like for a lot of athlete’s this Spring, Senior or not, it was a sucker punch to the gut…but Boyles message for those returning as this:
“I would say to power through the hard practices and to build up your teammates. Often many players take the game for granted but when your season gets taken away from you, you realize how much you miss it,” she said.
As for favorite memory where the Cascade colors:
“My favorite memory would probably be when stayed in the house together at the Redmond for our yearly spring break tournament. It was a lot of fun!” Boyles said.