May 6th, 2019

Fifth straight All A State Title reflects cultural shift

Dalton Pence 

Staff Writer 

Fifth straight All A State Title reflects cultural shift
Photo provided by Holy Cross Softball Twitter

Before 2015, Holy Cross had not won a single softball All “A” state title. Since then, the Cougars have won five straight, claiming their most recent one on April 28th. With wins over Washington County, Hickman County, Lyon County, Wolfe County, Carroll County, and Green County; Holy Cross posted a 6-0 weekend record and did so by outscoring their opponents 56-5. 

The first five games went rather smoothly, but the championship game posed a big threat. A Green County 2-run home run cut the Holy Cross lead to one heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, but the defending champions would answer with two runs of their own, in lieu to a 5-2 title-clinching victory. 
Despite the threat, the confidence never wavered. “I’m confident in my team. I was never nervous for one second”, senior centerfielder Maddi Gailor said. 
“They’re (Green County) a really solid team” Holy Cross head coach Tony Young added.“It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see them win the Fifth Region this year.”
Winning a slew of titles consecutively provides the opportunity for a decrease in luster, but that’s not the case for Holy Cross. The first one is always going to be special”, Young acknowledged, “but every one is special to us.” In his sixth season as head coach, Young has led Holy Cross to five All “A” titles and one runner-up finish. “We know how hard it is to win, you play really good teams and it’s a lot harder than people think it is”, he explained.
Kadi Weaver, Amber Kaufman, Bella Velez, and Carson Goatley were named to the All-Tournament team, with Maddi Gailor being selected as the tournament MVP. For Gailor, the individual recognition takes a backseat to team success. Her remarks ultimately epitomize the Cougar mindset, centered around the family values. 
When asked what stood out about her individual performance, Gailor answered with, “our pitchers did great and we hit to back them up.” 
This is the second straight senior class that has won the state title each of their four years at Holy Cross. “We win as a team and we lose as a team”, Young explained, “our seniors (Weaver, Gailor, Kaufman, and Maddie Wilson) have embodied and lived that for four years.” 
On winning all four years, Gailor said, “It’s a great accomplishment. I think this program will continue to grow as it pushes for the big state title.”
For one of the smallest schools in the state of Kentucky, this championship trend represents the cultural shift that they embrace. The biggest change (within the program) is more family appeal”, Young said, “everyone is involved with the program and knows their role. A big reason for the success we are having is team chemistry. It’s spectacular, we have great senior leadership; the parents and the kids all buy into the system.”
The five championship teams have built the foundation for a school who is quickly evolving into one of the state’s most prominent softball programs.The values and mindset have set the tone moving forward, as the surface is just now being scratched in terms of potential.
The five-peat has not only done wonders for softball, but for the school as a whole. “What I have seen is that the softball program has become the standard that the other sports strive to achieve at HC. It has forced all of us to raise our level because the softball program has proven that it can be done. These young ladies are so easy to cheer for as well. They work hard and they play for each other. The coaching staff has done a great job of preaching the team concept and it shows,” newly-appointed athletic director Kent Foushee explained.
Holy Cross will now turn it’s attention to pursuing the KHSAA state title in June, as they will represent the favorites to come out of the Sixth Region. 

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