OLNEY, Md. (WDVM) – Led by head coaches Ashley Barber-Strunk and Sean Davis, both the Sherwood softball and baseball programs are powerhouses in Montgomery County.
In 2019, the Sherwood baseball team lost a heartbreaker in the state championship, while the softball team won its sixth state championship since 2012.
While it is up in the air as to whether Maryland will hold state playoffs this spring, this season, Sherwood softball will look to repeat its success.
“It’s kind of like we’re starting over, starting new, but the expectations don’t change,” Barber-Strunk said. “It’s still about hard work, communication, learning the game and pushing these girls on and off the field. That’s the goal. That’s the goal every season.”
Sherwood features a relatively young softball team, with four seniors.
“It might be a new team, but we have a lot of drive, because a lot of these players haven’t won before,” Sherwood senior left fielder and third base Tess Farley, who was a member of the 2019 championship winning squad said. “So it’s fresh people and it’s something new that people haven’t seen from us before. Last year we didn’t get to play and we were excited to come back reigning champs. So hopefully this year, we do as well and win it all again.”
Sherwood senior outfielder Ally Bloom was also on the 2019 team, she has been using that title run as motivation for her younger teammates.
“Try and get them where we were to try and show them what we can do,” Bloom said. “I think for us it’s just how young of a team we are, we have a bunch of new players and it will be exciting to see how we do.”
Just a few fields over, the Sherwood baseball team has had to wait nearly two years to avenge their loss.
“It was a tough one and a lot of those guys were going to be able to come back and try to redeem themselves last year and they didn’t get that chance,” Davis said. “So I certainly feel bad for them but these guys were young then and they watched, some of them were up with us, so they’re hungry, they know what it’s all about, they know what our goals are.”
Sherwood baseball lost won a state championship in 2010, but have made a playoff run in each season under Davis, winning multiple regional titles and finishing as state runner-up multiple times as well.
The Warriors are eager to be back on the field, not just after the loss, but after many months of quarantining and being away from the sports that they love.
“It’s been killing me, I’ve been waiting so long to get back out here with these guys,” senior second baseman and pitcher Jake Becker said. “Those losses stunk and my junior year I was very excited, I thought we were going to be good and then COVID shut us down. And I think we’re going to be just as good this year so I’m really excited.”
Sherwood baseball will open its season at home, Saturday at 2 p.m. against Northwest.
“It’s definitely been tough,” senior pitcher and shortstop Brett Seils said. “That loss definitely hurt and we wanted to come back the next year and then everything gets canceled and just gives us more of an edge this year.”
The Sherwood softball team will open its season Monday at home against Northwest at 5:15 p.m.