The Rapid City Stevens and Rapid City Central softball teams began their tryout process last night at the Parkview Softball Complex as they both prepare to open the season in two weeks when Brandon Valley and Watertown come to Rapid for the season openers.
The Stevens Raiders are coming off of a third-place finish last season after they fell to Sioux Falls Washington in the state tournament and will be looking to replace a good chunk of their lineup as they return just two members of last year's starting lineup.
While the Raider offense may take some time to gel, both coaches and players know that there is some young talent waiting to show what it can do.
Brink said, "We definitely lost a lot of power hitters, I think, we had a lot of really good hitters last year, but I think our fielding is pretty good, so our defense should be pretty good. Like, we just need to meld together and get that teamwork going."
Grismer said, "You know we graduated a lot of kids from last season, we only have two returning starters from last season so we're really looking for kids who are going to step up at any age, whether they're a freshman or a senior or maybe even an eighth grader. We don't know who's going to make our varsity team yet. We've got 64 kids out here to choose from to make five different teams that will have anything from seventh graders to 12th graders participating."
The Raiders had former players Christina Delzer, Kaitlyn King, Jacey Sawyer, Abby Grismer and Emma Burns back in town helping with the tryout process, something that Sherry Grismer said speaks volumes for the Raider program.
Central and Stevens will open the season the weekend of August 18th against Watertown and Brandon Valley.