It turns out Cooperstown’s highly anticipated softball season can wait. Or at least softball practice can co-exist with the basketball playoffs.
“I don’t mind if they overlap,” said Nicole Cring, the pitcher for the softball team and center for the basketball team. “All of the girls who also play softball were talking and we’re fine with it overlapping. We’ll do both. We want to keep this going for two more weeks.”
“This” is the Redskins basketball playoff run, which will continue at 1 p.m. Saturday at the State University College at Oneonta with a regional final against Section Four Class C champion Harpursville. Cooperstown won the Section Three Class C title on Feb. 28 at the Carrier Dome with a 59-44 win over Weedsport.
Cooperstown (20-2) started the season strong and has gotten better as it has gone on. The team was undefeated in the Center State Conference Division III and has won 12 straight games since losing to Sherburne-Earlville, 58-52, on Jan. 11. The team’s other loss came against Holland Patent on Dec. 28, 34-31. S-E and HP are Class B schools.
All year, coach Mike Niles has attributed the team’s success to senior co-captains Cring and Sumer Murdock.
“Sumer and Nic, that’s what it is,” he said. “They set the tone. ‘This is where we belong. This is our work ethic.’ The other kids listen to them because they know they are not full of hot air.
“They are leaders on the court and leaders off the court,” he continued. “They are always doing things to bring the team together, like team dinners and team sleepovers.”
According to Murdock, who plays small forward or shooting guard, it is the unity that has helped the team achieve its success.
“I think it is the relationships we have created,” Murdock said. “Honestly, I think that is why we have had the success we have had. There’s not anyone on the team who doesn’t like anyone else. Everyone gets along.”