LAFARGEVILLE — One way or another, Saturday will be it for the seniors of LaFargeville softball. With the state semifinal game at 9 a.m. and then the possible championship game at 1:30 p.m. in South Glens Falls, the Red Knights who have played multiple sports over the course of many years will don their red and black jersey’s for the final time in just a couple of days.
It’s an odd feeling. For all of the girls, particularly the seniors, LaFargeville athletics have been their life. Between soccer, basketball and softball, getting together after school or on weekends to practice or play a game has become part of who they are.
It makes the possibly of winning a state championship on Saturday even more poetic. The Red Knights know this is what it’s been leading up to.
“For a lot of years now it’s always been ‘oh we have next year,’” Rachel Davis said. “Now it’s just, everything is coming to an end, it’s hitting us that it’s reality. So I think that’s why we’ve actually done so well this season, it’s because we can’t say ‘oh we have next year or we have two years from now or three years from now. We have until Saturday and it’s a big reality check.”
Despite it being their last week of practice ahead of arguably the biggest games in their career, the Red Knights appeared calm as usual. That’s not to say they’re not nervous, “we’re very nervous,” Izzy Soluri said. But being together helps ease stress.
LaFargeville (20-0) will be taking the trip to South Glens Falls with the sole intent of returning with a trophy, they’ll first have to play Deposit from Section 4 in the semifinals at Moreau Recreational Park in order to get to the championship game. However, no matter how Saturday ends, the girls will feel grateful.
“Win or lose, I’m for sure grateful and I know my teammates are all grateful that we all got to play sports for all these years together,” Davis said. “I know we’re really grateful to get this far because not a lot of other teams get the chance to do this. I’m just grateful I got to play sports as long as I have with this group of girls.”
The Red Knights success the past few months has not gone unnoticed by those in school and the community. Soluri has said that she’s gotten words of encouragement from little kids all the way up to classmates and teachers.
The team leaves for South Glens Falls on Friday and to show their support, the community is throwing an elaborate send off that will begin at the school at 8:20 a.m. A notice on the school’s website encourages parents and community members to bring “signs, noise makers and sirens.”
Seeing how invested the community is has meant a lot to the team.
“They have send offs for us and some of the parents have been very involved in getting police escorts for us and that’s very cool and an experience we’ll probably never have again,” Soluri said. “Having the community with us through it all, no matter win or lose I know that they’re going to be very supportive and they’re going to thank us for the trip we’ve taken them on.”
“You’re in the hallways and every body looks up to you and says congratulations and great job, our community is proud and so is the school,” Abby Gaumes said.
After this season Soluri will go on to play softball at Jefferson Community College, though nothing will quite compare to this team and this season.
“It’s just a great way to end our high school seasons and no matter what happens, we’re going to think that we’re on top,” she said.