Softball's McCarley Thomas: Inside Stories
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Softball's McCarley Thomas: Inside Stories

Playing at home is such a wonderful experience for so many reasons.

First, we are able to sleep in our own beds. Second, we don’t miss any classes. I know that sounds odd to some, but trust me when I say it is hugely important. Third, we have so many incredible people who come out to watch us play.

This team is particularly blessed with some incredibly faithful fans. I don’t doubt that the other softball teams around the country have a solid following, but I stand by my words when I say we have the best fans out there.

Saturday morning around 10:30 we all left the locker room to head to the field to get ready for our game. As the door opened, the smell met us long before we could see its source. Someone was cooking something, and the smell alone was enough to make our mouths water. As we climbed the hill, our eyes met a truck behind our outfield with smoke pouring out of the grill connected to the back.

What some of us didn’t realize is that our families had planned a cookout to enjoy before the games started. Tanner Sander’s dad, Mr. Mike, her fiancé, Joe, and his parents were out behind our field grilling and smoking all kinds of delicious meats for our families to enjoy together.

One by one families and friends began arriving carrying trays of cookies, bags of chips, camp chairs, blankets, and anything else you could possibly want or need for a good old southern BBQ.

We watched as the game before us went into extra innings, as they always seem to do when we play at home, and enjoyed small pieces of fantastic food and time with our families before game time arrived.

A moment occurred as the team stood to the side after we had finished part of our warm up. I happened to glance over at all of our families eating together, laughing together, and simply enjoying one another’s company.

In that moment I was so thankful to be where I am. I am thankful to be on a team that not only is close to one another but also has parents, grandparents, and friends who feel that closeness and choose to share it as well. I smiled then as I saw the moment happening, and I cannot help but smile as I think back to it now.

Tonight as I write, I am thankful for so many people. I am thankful for the grandparents who make us brownies and always know how to makes us smile, the tiniest Lady Bison fans like Anna, the friends who come no matter what the weather may be, and the parents whose support seems to never end.

This inside story goes out to all of our families and friends who choose to spend their time supporting and loving us through the good and the bad. I speak for all of the Lady Bisons when I say we love you all, and thank you for all that you do!

Until next time,