Well before this year’s Putnam County seniors were in high school, I was told to look out for this group of female athletes.
PC softball coach Chris Walker and others touted the highly-athletic group and predicted big things for them in high school.
The PC seniors may not have reached their ultimate goal of the state softball tournament after a 1-0 loss to Amboy on Monday in the Class 1A Northern Illinois Super-Sectional, but they accomplished a lot in their four years — in all sports.
Their resume includes:
Three regional championships and two Elite Eight appearances in softball.
Two regional championships and a Sweet 16 berth in basketball.
Two sectional appearances and the program’s first-ever regional championship in golf.
Two winning seasons in volleyball.
And commitments to play at the collegiate level in golf, softball, basketball and volleyball.
“That core right there has put up so many banners in our junior high and high school,” Walker said. “Nobody’s done that in the history of our school. To be part of that and have them since they were fifth and sixth graders and now as seniors, they’re like my girls. It’s like extended family.
“(Losing in the super-sectional) is tough because I feel for them, but I also feel good because they’re just great kids with a lot of talent. You pray that you can have groups like that on a regular basis.”
What this group has accomplished is pretty special considering the state of PC female athletics when they entered high school.
The girls teams at PC weren’t very competitive — and that’s putting it pretty nicely for some sports — before this class entered high school, but over the past three years PC has been a force to be reckoned with across the board in female athletics.
Three-sport senior Carly Gonet hopes her class has laid the foundation for future success for PC’s female athletic programs.
“I know the girls who are younger than us are going to do it,” Gonet said. “We have a good freshman class coming in. They’re going to keep it going, hopefully.”
Whether future classes keep it going or not, whenever Gonet and her classmates look back on their prep careers, they’ll be proud.
“I think people definitely aren’t going to forget us for a while,” said Gonet, who played golf, basketball and softball. “I’m going to be proud whenever I walk in that gym and see all the banners hanging up there knowing I was apart of everything.”
Kevin Chlum is the NewsTribune sports editor. He can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.