There is no recollection from the Henley softball players of the last time they lost Skyline Conference game.
It’s because that memory does not exist. With a pair of blowout wins —26-0 in both — over Hidden Valley Saturday, the Hornets completed a sweep of the conference that spanned four years and 60 games.
“This game is not conducive of stretches like that,” said head coach Bobby Mick. “It’s a testament to kids who can hit the reset button each week and focus on what’s important and focus on getting better. I don’t care what level you are at, or what the competition is like, this game doesn’t work like that. It’s extremely impressive.”
The streak was bookended with wins over Hidden Valley, a 15-2 win on April 16, 2016, and Saturday, a 26-0 win.
Starting for all of those 60 were Kaila Mick and Lily Poe, the only four-year starters who have on the ride the whole time. Fellow seniors Jessica Northcutt and Emily Majors joined in on the fun for the final 45 games.
“We’ve had several good teammates that have come before us,” Kaila Mick said. “It wasn’t just us carrying the team for four years, we’ve had good players for several years. It’s been several good teams and we’ve been here for all of it.”
Just as there were good players before, the current team is loaded with promising talent.
“This senior class is phenomenal,” Mick the coach said. “But we have a group of juniors are right behind them, good players. We have sophomores right behind them, good players. Our roster is a mixture of all those players, the team is a mixture of several different age glasses that are all working towards one goal.”
When a team has won as much as Henley has during the stretch, which includes a state title, opposing teams a gunning for you.
“We have targets on our back,” Majors said. “You have to come to play.”
Mick recalls the celebration of Crater — a Class 5A team that handed the Hornets a 7-4 loss in the seventh game of the season — had after it had won. It doesn’t matter where in the state, according to Mick, or the level, teams want to beat Henley. A feat that doesn’t happen often.
“It makes it harder when you win this much,” said Mick the shortstop. “Everyone wants to win, if anyone in our league could beat us one time then that would make their entire season. We talk about that before every game: ‘don’t make their season.’”
Mick, Northcutt, Poe and Majors can exit the program without the feeling of losing a Skyline Conference game.