It’s been over a week since the Snohomish softball team clinched its first state berth since 2000.
But the Panthers are still excited.
Ten days ago Snohomish defeated Lynnwood 13-3 to clinch a berth in today’s 4A state tournament at Merkel Sports Complex in Spokane. But the party has continued in the interim for the Panthers.
“We are pretty jazzed up right now,” said Snohomish head coach Lou Kennedy. “The excitement level is still pretty high.”
It’s the first trip to state for Kennedy, who is in his 10th year at the helm of the Panthers. He praised his seniors — including Trysten Melhart, Bailey Seek and Katlyn Purvis — for helping Snohomish return to state. The Panthers face Wenatchee Friday at noon in their state opener.
“It’s ginormous for us and for me,” Kennedy said. “This group of seniors, for the last four years, they’ve worked so hard. They’ve earned it. We fell just a little bit short in the past but you can never complain about their work ethic. They’ve earned it.”
Now, Snohomish is using the last few years — which saw the Panthers’ seasons end in the district tournament — as motivation.
“Does that fuel the fire? You bet,” Kennedy said. “Last year, as soon as we were done, the first thing they talked about was, ‘We’re good to go next year.’”
Kennedy has just one hope for his team’s state experience.
“Being a first experience to state for everybody, this is going to be kind of different,” Kennedy said. “Had we gotten there last year we’d have a good feel for how this goes. Right now, I care less about who we play. It’s more about how we play.
“If we go and execute and play well I’ll take the result. My bottom line is really simple, if you give me 100 perent of what you’ve got on that day, I’ll be happy.”