(MAYSVILLE, Mo.) "There were tears all around. It was tough for me to talk to them afterwards just because I was so proud of them."
That's how Matt Blythe described his emotions after his Maysville softball team won their first district championship in school history on Saturday.
"We'd been close so many years," he said. "I told the girls after the ballgame was over they didn't realize how important this was to me, and it was to them."
"Everyone was emotional... just happy tears," senior outfielder Mary Jane Kapp added.
Blythe, in his 13th year as head coach, has put two daughters through the Maysville program and on to Northwest. He watched the Lady Wolverines knock off King City 10-3 this past weekend, exacting revenge on the team that kept them from the Class 1, District 14 crown last year.
It's an impressive feat given the amount of leadership they replaced from 2012.
"When we first started, I wasn't sure," he said. "We've had a lot of strong, talented teams that have gotten beat in district titles. I would say this one is pretty close to that, but I think it's more of the heart, desire, and the way they approach things."
One of four seniors who's played a major role is pitcher Katie Applegarth after tearing her ACL as a sophomore. She's now the ace of the staff after coming back from rehab to pitch second in the rotation a year ago.
"We were all scared, when she tore her knee, that sports just wouldn't be an option for her anymore," Kapp said. "But we were all hoping she could come back and she's been pitching great this season. We couldn't do it without her."
"Just because you're hurt for a certain amount of time doesn't mean you have to stay down," Applegarth said. "You can come back even stronger. I think I'm a better pitcher now than what I was before I had surgery."
Now, the Lady Wolverines get a date with Class 1, District 13 champion Polo, who they played to a 2-0 win just ten days ago.
For the storybook season to continue, Blythe says they plan to just stick with what got them here.
"We will go about things the way we always have," he said. "It's going to be whoever is more prepared that night and controls their nerves."
First pitch for sectionals at Polo is set for 6:00 p.m.
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