The North Lincoln Lady Knights had quite a run in 2004 going 20-8 and finishing third in the state.
â€œIt was a great season and I was glad I was on the team. Iâ€™m really excited we made it to the final four and that we got third,â€ sophomore pitcher Nicole Baxter said who finished with over 15 wins on the year.
Freshman slugger Mekenzie Harkey was thrilled with what her and her teammates accomplished.
â€œIâ€™m proud of the teamâ€” first year team and we came this far. We had a really good time, came together as a team and it showed on the field,â€ she said.
Fellow freshman Jenna Torbert, who led the Lady Knights at the plate, took the overall experience of the season with her.
â€œWe had a great season. We gained more than third place in the state, weâ€™ve gained relationships that will never be forgotten and had a lot of fun in the process,â€ she said.
Head coach Rick Brown was ecstatic with their season.
â€œIt was far more than what I could have expected from a first year team,â€ he said.
â€œWe wouldâ€™ve liked to have placed higher, but Iâ€™m very pleased as a coach and as a team with where we finished,â€ he said.
Freshman outfielder and pitcher April Wilson stated a sentiment that seemed to be a common theme among the Lady Knight players.
â€œIt was a great seasonâ€” we had a lot of firsts. The girls and the coaches are awesome! I canâ€™t wait â€˜til next year,â€ she said.
â€œComing this far in the state, weâ€™re working together and it shows the other teams whatâ€™s in store for next year,â€ Torbert added.
â€œNext year weâ€™ll go even further,â€ Harkey said.
Their statements could sound over-confident to some people, but with only three juniors on this yearâ€™s roster and no seniors the sky looks to be the limit.
Baxter, whoâ€™s a sophomore credited one of her teammates for putting everything in perspective for her.
â€œThatâ€™s good because Iâ€™m only a sophomore like Lindsey (Smith) said and Iâ€™m gonna be here for two more years and Iâ€™m already striking you out,â€ she said.
Brown felt the special season wouldnâ€™t have been possible without a particular aide.
â€œNothing would have gotten done without Melanie (Painter) working behind the scenes. This is definitely one of the best sets of parents and fans Iâ€™ve ever had to support a team,â€ he said.
Baxter deemed it appropriate to make a â€˜thank youâ€™ of her own.
â€œIâ€™d like to thank coach Brown for being a great coach. We wouldnâ€™t be here without him,â€ she said.
The third place finish is the best outcome for any North Lincoln High athletic program.by John Mark Brooks