Plant City High School’s team is going back to the state games this week with first place in mind.
The Plant City High School Raiders Unified softball team, which won a gold medal at the Special Olympics Florida 2018 State Fall Classic, once again made the cut and will look to go back-to-back starting this Friday.
“We’re gonna win the gold,” head coach Lisa Goad said. “They play together well. They play defense well. They hit well. They’re just really good together. This team’s been together for five years now. We’ve picked up a few different partners this year but the rest of them have been together for five years… we’re going to make it two in a row.”
Of the fall team sports, the softball team was the only one from PCHS to make it all the way to states.
“Just for them to make it back this year, that’s our biggest accomplishment… it’s like the gravy on top of the mashed potatoes right now,” coach Mike Crabb said.
The coaching staff chalks up another successful season to two big things: chemistry and coachability.
“We look to improve every year,” Crabb said. “This is my second year with the team and I’ve seen so much improvement over the last year… their coordination has really improved tremendously. I think it’s the repetition, the focus that you have to have with a lot of these athletes, that’s what they look for.”
On the individual level, the Raiders will be joined by powerlifter R.J. Gardner as he competes in his first state championship competition in the sport.
The State Fall Classic kicks off Friday and ends Saturday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Orlando.