Apparently, former Madison County High School softball players take their reunions seriously.
Coach Doug Kesler got word that one former pupil plans on driving all night from Alabama in order to suit up for Saturday’s biennial Raider alumni game.
Meanwhile, one of Kesler’s daughters will miss a wedding to take part in the event.
The alumni game is scheduled for 4 p.m. Kesler said 20-30 former Raiders should show up for a little friendly competition — and fun.
“It’s just more of a time for fellowship and to get everybody back together,” Kesler said.
That includes the parents of ex-Raiders, too.
“I think the parents are looking forward to it as much as the kids are, just to see their daughters get out there one more time,” he said.
The alumni function is part of a full day of softball. The current team will play its intrasquad scrimmage at 1 p.m. Umpires will also host a clinic that day and a few will be retained to oversee the softball action.
The program held its first alumni contest in 2005, followed by another in 2007.
As in years past, the alumni game will include players from the original 1998 team that started Madison County run of success in the fast-pitch ranks.
“A lot of them got kids now, so that’s kind of neat,” Kesler said.
The day is not without a few ground rules.
In order to spare those who might be rusty against live arms, Raiders who pitched during high school won’t throw in the alumni game.
Kesler notes that former players who haven’t reached him can still play in the game.
“If they haven’t contacted me yet, they’re still free to show up,” he said.
Meanwhile, the program’s current players continue to prepare for this fall. Following a 24-11 campaign in 2008, the team has hit the practice field with goals in mind.
“We think we can build on what we did last year and go even further than we did last year,” Kesler said.
The coach notes the leadership roles the team’s veterans have assumed — both vocally and by example.
“Sometimes, peer pressure can be a good thing … We’ve got some girls that aren’t scared to step up and tell somebody if they’re dragging a little bit,” Kesler said.