High school softball team wins first playoff game since 2007
The Wareham High School Vikings girls softball team beat Brighton High School 20-3 on Thursday, June 1, the team’s first playoff victory since 2007.
“It’s simple,” Head Coach Rudy Cadena said about his team’s playoff victory. “We believed in each other, and believed we were always better than our record indicated.”
While the team finished the season on Sunday, June 4 with a 0-14 loss to Hampshire Regional High School, and a total record of 5-17, the Vikings are proud of having made the playoffs in the first place.
On Monday, June 5, the players returned their uniforms to Cadena, a bittersweet ritual marking the end of the season.
“It feels pretty great,” said Madison Nereu, a junior and starting pitcher. “It’s kind of hard to believe that [we won the game], but it’s kind of hard not to believe that. We’ve all worked really hard for it.”
Nereu credited the team’s success to strong chemistry between the players and Cadena.
“He’s such a great coach,” she said. “His chemistry rubs off on us. His bond with us makes it that much easier to play together.”
It was a bond that not even major surgery could break. On Wednesday, May 31, Cadena went to the hospital with extreme abdominal pain. He had to have his appendix removed that day, but made the softball game against Brighton the next day.
“I thought he was a little bit on the crazy side,” said freshman catcher and pitcher Jolee Anderson. “I’m really glad that he did [come], because without our energy, our game couldn’t have been as strong as it was.”
Cadena’s team was nervous about his condition, but he is showing signs of improvement.
Anderson said that the softball team is “young,” with only one graduating senior and two juniors. The rest of the team is made up of freshmen and eighth graders.
“We’re all going to grow up together,” she said. “We’re going to grow as a team and stay together for a long time.”
The sole senior on the team is Cadena’s daughter Marina, a shortstop. She will continue to play softball when she goes to Framingham State University this fall.
“It’s a little sad,” she said about leaving the high school, “but it was a good run. Although we have a young team, I feel like we have a pretty strong team. We grew throughout the season.”