Fossil softball makes school history


Stan Browning

Sabercats gather to hold their trophy celebrating Fossil’s first softball state championship.

Monica Jarosz, Staff Writer

On October 10, 2020 the Fossil Ridge High School softball team made school history. The girls defeated Aurora’s Cherokee Trail High School with a 5-1 victory. In the middle of a global pandemic, Fossil’s first ever softball state championship was claimed. 

The head coach, Dave Philop, has coached softball for around 25 years. Fossil’s softball team has made it this far before, but have always come up short. After realizing that his team won, he says it was an “unbelievable feeling and surreal but almost couldn’t believe it.”

Mia Moore, the centerfielder for the softball team “was in shock” after realizing they won. “Three of my four years I’ve been in the state championship, and in the other two years I felt that disappointment of not winning.” Moore knew it would not be easy, but in the final inning she felt that it was a possibility for them to win. “Then it actually happened and I was just in complete shock and it didn’t feel real.”

According to the Colorado High School Athletic Association (CHSAA), the coach’s poll had Fossil ranked fourth in the 5A division. Philop explained that proving to be number one was “very rewarding.” Fossil has played the teams ranked ahead of them before and had lost. However, just being able to compete against the top teams prepared them for what they would experience at the state competition. 

This season, full of uncertainty, “was more of a sprint instead of a marathon,” says Philop. The guidelines because of COVID-19 lessened the amount of games, and the cost of losing a competition increased greatly. Both the coaches and players had to remind each other that the season “could end, and to be lucky they get the chance to be on the field,” stated Philop.

Moore says, “we all kind of recognize that we were one of the only sports that was able to play in this and we really appreciate it.” Moore felt that being in the outfield several feet away from other people with a mask on was weird at times but getting to come to practice everyday was a break from online school and a chance to hang out with some of her closest friends.

When Philop stepped up to the plate as a coach, his hopes were that people would come out and just enjoy the game. Philop mentioned that what was so special about this year amidst COVID-19 was “looking at the mountains and [realizing] how lucky they are and blessed they were to play at home with all the support.”

Moore wishes that people would realize how fun softball is to watch. Moore says, “a lot of our games, especially late in the year, get really exciting and very high energy and intense and crazy.” 

This year, everyone on the team really played their part. The coaches and players are passionate about the sport, and they “stuck together as a group and [went into the game knowing] what their goals were,” says Philop.

Moore adds, “we weren’t going to win unless we worked as a team, no one person was going to do it by themselves.” 

Be sure to congratulate the players on their amazing performance. The team poured out a lot of effort this season. They all had their doubts, but held each other accountable to make the 2020 season great. 

They were pitched a season, they swung at the opportunity, and ran home with the Colorado 5A state title.