This season, the Oswego softball program will look to dedicate their season to coach Amanda Stanton who tragically passed away in June. She was killed in a hit and run accident along Plainfield Road in Oswego on June 24.
The Panthers will be led by first-year head varsity coach Sara Polensky, who received the job after the tragic passing of Stanton. This season, Polensky will look to lead her players and her staff through what could be a very difficult season.
“Every day we will dedicate what we do [to coach Stanton],” Polensky says. “[Stanton] brought this program up to a very high standard and we’re going to continue that.”
Stanton started to really build up the team and the culture surrounding it prior to her tragic passing. Her impact on the program will be felt and looked to be built on going forward.
“[The players] are working hard this off season,” Polensky says. “They will give every effort to win for her.”
It’s not just the coaches looking to dedicate the season; this mindset has trickled down to the players as well. They are putting in the work to not only dedicate the season to their fallen coach, but to do what all athletes strive to do.
“I’ve been training extra hard this offseason to make sure we win,” senior Hailey Morland said.
As for seasonal expectations, the Panthers hope to be a top team in the conference this season after only graduating three seniors. They bring back a strong group of seniors, including players entering their third year on the varsity squad.
Last season the Panthers finished 17-11, their season ending with a loss in the regional semi-final to Naperville Central 7-6.
With all the talent the Panthers have returning, they will look to build off of last year’s success and dedicate the season to their former coach.