By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Brighton Lady Cardinals have earned the title of a ‘Traditional Power’ in West Tennessee.
Multiple All-State players, State Tournament appearance and postseason championships have cemented Brighton’s title among the best.
In recent years the Lady Cardinals have managed to add regular season crowns to their long list of accomplishments. But when May has rolled around Brighton has gone home early.
“We’re replacing a lot of players,” Brighton Head Coach Robin Jacobs said. “Two out of the last three years we’ve won the league in our regular season. But we haven’t been able to finish it in our district tournament. We’ve had real solid years, real good seasons.
“It’s going to be hard to replace some of our players from the past,” he added. “A lot of our players this year haven’t started or been the starter that long. The best thing about that is we have a very good freshmen class.”
The freshmen class’ arrival came just in time with an unexpected lost on the field. The 2014 District 13-3A regular-season MVP Raygan Huffman will miss the season because of a knee injury.
“We lost her right out the gate,” Jacobs said. “That hurt, that was our league MVP. She was the leader on our team. She’s going to be replaced at catcher with two freshmen, Currie McIntyre and Bailey Butler.”
Butler and McIntyre are just part of the new class of Lady Cardinals. They have been working hard and have the potential to be great players.
The young catchers have been working with returning starter Seeley Layne and four other pitchers. Layne will also be the designated hitter for Brighton.
“I feel pretty good about the top four or five,” Jacobs said of his batting order. “Currie is going to be a really good player. She’s going to bat first for us. She’s going to be a real good freshman. Then we’ll have her sister Anna McIntyre who has been a starter in the past. She’s a very trustworthy player.”
Haley Ryder, Hannah Bernard, Marissa Moss, Bridgette Nicholson are just some of the players to watch out for in 2015. Throughout the lineup will be speed.
“We have some extremely fast ninth graders,” Jacobs said. “They’re fast. They’ll be put in the game to do some things for us. That’s a new element for us.”
That new element might be the difference of the Lady Cardinals making it out of the District Tournament this May. In the league are solid programs like Dyer County, Hardin County and Munford.
The Munford Lady Cougars have been to four straight State Tournaments.
“Last year we were 6-2,” Jacobs said. “The only team to beat us was Munford. One game was extremely close and the other they handled us. We beat them in the previous years. If we can get a break in the district tournament, that will be the big key.
“We’ve played pretty good through the year and compile a good record,” he concluded. “We’ve just come up short in the district tournament. Can’t really explain it. But we’re going to stress that a little bit more toward the end of the season. We’ve just go to get better at the end.”