The upcoming season for the Denton Lady Broncos will see a young roster develop into a competitive team, says Denton head coach Rhana Ramos, and with just two seniors, five juniors and the rest underclassmen on a squad of 14, the consistency is starting to build.
“My juniors that I’ve had now I’ve been able to develop since they were freshman and not having to go back to the basics every single year, I feel like we are definitely taking a higher level,” Ramos said. “We are stepping up, so to speak. I think the caliber of the athletes that have joined our program have affected our program in a positive manner as well. I feel like we are building for sure.”
The Lady Broncos moved its season opener against Frisco to Monday due to today’s weather concerns, but they have entered the fine-tuning stage with the bulk of their schedule on the horizon.
“We worked on pickoffs, relationships and key aspects of how this athlete is going to play this particular play, being able to react to each other and not just the basics,” Ramos said. “We were definitely able to work on higher level things this year.”
Ramos expected her juniors and seniors to lead the way, but is also counting on a few freshmen to play a crucial role, especially with the Lady Broncos already having health issues with two injured outfielders in the preseason.
Despite being bit early by the injury bug, Ramos said her team is anxious to get started.
“Overall, the energy is high,” Ramos said. “Even with our injuries, we are going to be able to play some of those other athletes into those positions and not be horribly affected. We will be able to compete pretty well.”
With the roster full of multi-faceted players who have and will play several positions this season, Ramos is most encouraged about the talent across the board.
“I’m most excited about us being well rounded this year,” Ramos said. “I’ve been able to take my first baseman and put her in right field and it works out very well. I’ve got three catchers, two pitchers, probably four third basemen and a couple of shortstops. The girls have developed cohesiveness and a type of synergy with each other and they don’t care where they play as long as they’re playing.”
The Lady Broncos will see a different District 5-4A landscape, one Ramos thinks is one of the toughest in Texas, with Guyer making the jump into the already difficult district and Ryan moving to District 5-5A.
“Our district did not get easier, that’s for sure,” Ramos said. “I’ve watched Guyer play for the last several years, and even at the 5A level, they were successful. [Trophy Club] Byron Nelson is a building program with a lot of spark and ambition. [Fort Worth] Brewer has a new pitcher. I think Azle has a new pitcher. Our district got harder this year, not easier. So, even though we’ve built from the point where we were last year, I know that our competition is going to be stout.”
With Denton going through some tough stretches last season, Ramos said the team isn’t looking too far ahead and will employ a day-to-day approach with this season’s goal simply defined as achieving success.
“By success, I mean we are going to take it one game at a time, one inning at a time and try and win every inning we go out and play,” Ramos said. “We’d love to reach the playoffs, but we know what our competition is. We have to make sure every one of us is ready to play every game and every single inning.”
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
LADY BRONCOS ROSTER
April Van Hoose
Head coach: Rhana Ramos
Assistant coaches: Sarah Hirsch, Jessica Bradley, Jason Shaw