After going 0-12 a season ago, the Windermere Prep softball team is 5-3 this season, with hopes of contending in its district.
A year ago the Windermere Prep softball team did not win a game — the Lakers finished 0-12.
Two years ago, in 2016, the school did not have a team.
The Lakers are singing a different tune so far in 2018, though.
Windermere Prep is 5-3 and 4-1 so far within its district. J.D. Wood, an assistant coach for the team last year and a longtime assistant for the school’s football program, was promoted to head coach during the offseason and has guided the program as it has blossomed so far this spring.
“It’s a total reversal from last year,” Wood said. “Wins begin to change environments, environments begin to change practice and practice begins to change the way you play the game — they’re amped to come to practice now.”
Last week, the Lakers swept a pair of district games against Lake Mary Prep and Legacy Charter by a combined score of 22-0.
The week before, on March 2 against Celebration High, Windermere Prep earned its first home win in three years, topping the Storm 15-4.
Newcomers with high-level travel experience such as Mia Williams, a seventh-grader who is a verbal commit to the University of Florida, and Lexi King, a sixth-grader who has been an ace on the mound for Lakers, have infused energy into an already-improving lineup that included talented returners such as sisters Madison and Meredith Workman.
Collectively, along with Wood and his staff, the team’s more experienced players have stepped up to lend a helping hand to teammates who joined the team without a mastery of some of the game’s basic skills.
“These girls have taken on a leadership role — especially the ones who’ve been in travel ball,” Wood said.
The strong start for the team in its district — Class 3A, District 3 — has the Lakers optimistic they can compete for a spot in the postseason. Windermere Prep’s one district blemish was a 9-2 loss to Cornerstone Charter (8-3), the district’s top team, but Wood said the team came away inspired to improve for another shot at the Ducks.
The Lakers will return from spring break and face Legacy March 27 at home.
The district tournament won’t begin until April 23 — but the players and coaches for Windermere Prep are excited to see where this season will go.
“The girls are really buying in,” Wood said. “We’re really beginning to come into our own.”