As another year approaches at Central College, coaches and players from all of the Dutch athletic teams are gearing up. While their season doesn’t start until next March, the softball team will have several practices this fall as they begin their quest for another N-C-A-A tournament berth.
Coach George Wares has won four national championships in his hall of fame tenure at Central, but it’s been a decade since the Dutch last hoisted the trophy. While they’ve been to the postseason six times since, they haven’t returned to Nationals since that ’03 title squad. Wares says that he’s challenged his coaching staff and players to figure out how to take that next step.
“Our target is Linfield (Oregon) and Pac Luth [Pacific Lutheran], because that’s where it’s at right now. Those are the teams that are doing really, really well. So as we answers those questions, it’s ‘how do we get there, how do we compete with those people,’” says Wares.
“We won’t accept the fact that they can give the kids more money – if it’s a financial aid package – or they have better facilities; whatever it might be, it’s an unacceptable answer. You just have to find a way to get to that level.”
The Central College softball team went 36-10 in 2012 and won the Iowa Conference postseason tournament before seeing their season come to an end at an NCAA regional in Pella. The 2013 version of the Dutch open play at the prestigious NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Georgia in early March.