OKEECHOBEE — As a player at Okeechobee High School, Mary Huff enjoyed plenty of success on the softball field. That success has shifted to coaching.
Huff won her first district title as head coach of the Brahmans in April.
“We peaked at the right time,” said Huff, who is in her fourth year at the helm.
Okeechobee, which went 19-9 this season, blanked South Fork, 3-0, in the Class 7A-District 13 championship game.
Okeechobee made a brief run in the regional tournament. The Brahmans ousted Dwyer, 5-2, in a regional quarterfinal but were knocked out in a regional semifinal as South Fork exacted some revenge for the district setback a week earlier with a 7-0 win that ended Okeechobee’s season.
Despite the loss, Huff said there were plenty of positive parts to the team’s season.
“I think we definitely could have ended on a better game, but I’m happy with what they did,” Huff said. “They jelled well and the fact that they were a good team together helped them go a little further than in the past.”
No Tribal members were starters on Okeechobee’s varsity this season, but that will likely change in the near future as players such as Brienna Brockman, Jacee Jumper, Janessa Nunez, Mallorie Thomas and Julia Smith continue their ascension. Those players spent most of the year on the junior varsity, but some of them saw brief playing time with the big squad.
“I think they’re going to be key for us next year. We’re a young team. I hope they play key roles next year,” Huff said. “As long as they work over the summer and don’t take days off, I think they’ll be good to go next year.”
As for this year, the team’s first district championship since 2013 won’t be forgotten.
“We ended with a district title and nobody can take that away from us,” Huff said.