by Rob Tetro
The Fulton varsity softball team is losing oen senior from a team that went 11-7. The team reached the semifinals of the Section III Class A playoffs.
Ashley Cummins is the lone senior that Fulton will bid farewell to, according to coach Derek Lyons. Throughout the season, Cummins displayed an impressive work ethic, said Lyons.
Though she may not have been a vocal leader, Cummins led by example when it came to effort.
Lyons added that Cummins’ teammates learned a lot from her. “I think the girls learned a lot about the way she worked day in and day out,” he said.
Whether its Cummins or any other senior that makes her way through the program, Lyons hopes that seniors come away from the experience with the understanding that having an impressive work ethic can pay off.
It certainly did this season. “We had a nice run this year and it would (not) have been impossible without the effort they put in all year,” said Lyons.
The Lady Raiders improved this season. Despite playing a few perennial powerhouses, Fulton had a pretty successful season.
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by Rob Tetro
Fulton varsity softball coach Derek Lyons keeps it short when assessing some of the goals his team has for the upcoming season.
The Lady Raiders’ ultimate goal is to qualify for the sectional playoffs for the second straight season. However, Lyons pointed out that in order for his team to qualify for sectional play, they will have to work hard on a daily basis.
Lyons said that this year’s team will feature both a notable amount of returning players and newer players.
Fulton’s returning players gained monumental experience in 2012, which is expected to be a big benefit to this year’s team.
“Our returners played in two sectional games and gained vital experience last year that will help us immensely this year,” Lyons said.
Conditioning is an important part of the Lady Raiders preparation for the season. To enhance the players’ athleticism, Fulton takes part in daily conditioning development activities.
Recently, the team also began hitting and fielding preparation on a daily basis.
As the season opener approaches, Lyons expects his team to be in good physical condition.
However, Lyons points out that the Lady Raiders have a long way to go before they meet the conditioning expectations that he has for them.
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by Rob Tetro
When Fulton girls varsity basketball coach Derek Lyons speaks of the goals his team has for the upcoming season, he breaks them down into three categories.
First, the coach hopes that the Lady Raiders understand the importance of performing at a high level in every aspect of their practices.
Once they reach a certain level of effort in practice, their next goal is to reach even higher levels of effort during the next practice.
Lyons’ team is preparing to translate determination in practice into successful outcomes in games with the ultimate goal of qualifying for sectional play.
Fulton will feature a combination of experienced players and newer players. The Lady Raiders will be led by five seniors who return from last year’s team.
Michelle Gorea, Christina Pensabene, Jessica Hudson, Sydney Plato and Cheyenne Brien return with multiple years of varsity experience under their belts.
Sophomores Michaela Whiteman and Taylor Duda and eighth grader Nichole Hansen are preparing to make their debuts at the varsity level.
According to Lyons, his players also understand the importance of maintaining solid physical conditioning.
Lyons considers his five returning seniors to be informal captains. He will expect them to serve as leadership figures especially for the three newcomers to the team.
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by Rob Tetro
Friday the 13th was far from a day of bad luck for the Fulton varsity softball team.
The Lady Raiders cruised to victory against Cortland for the team’s first win of the season. Friday’s win also marked Coach Derek Lyon’s first win as a varsity softball coach.
The Lady Raiders scored six runs during the bottom of the fifth inning, which propelled them to a 13-1 win.
by Rob Tetro
If you ask new Fulton varsity softball coach Derek Lyons what some of his goals are for his debut season, his response is straight to the point.
Making daily improvements is the most important goal that his team can accomplish in 2012.
However, Lyons doesn’t stray far from a bigger aspiration. He said that every team should set out to earn a sectional playoff bid. “We have made it clear that one of our other goals is to make sectionals,” he said.
In 2012, Fulton will feature a senior-laden team that has been around the program for many years.