FRONTENAC, Kan — Before heading off to Manhattan for the Class 3A state tournament, the Frontenac High School softball team concluded practice with something the team has only done twice. The other two times the Raiders did it resulted in state titles.
Players on the team wrote words of motivation on their arms to help prepare themselves to look for the program’s third state championship in the past six years under head coach Cassie Rhuems. The other two titles came in 2016 and later in 2019. The Raiders didn’t get the chance to defend their state title due to COVID-19 last season, so Frontenac is the reigning champ, and the team hopes to keep it that way.
“Our conference is jam-packed with competition, our regional is jam-packed with competition, so we know that we’ve played some games that have prepared us for this tournament,” Rhuems said. “We’ll take whatever number they want to put in front of Frontenac, we don’t really care.”
When the Raiders won it all in 2016, Frontenac was ranked as the No. 7 seed. This year, Frontenac enters the state tournament as the No. 6 seed, opening the quarterfinal round against Silver Lake on Thursday (May 27). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST.
The Frontenac baseball team will be joining the softball team in Manhattan and will be looking for its second state title in school history after winning its first in 2012. But this team is riding an extensive 12-game win streak into the state tournament, including back-to-back walk-off wins to claim the 3A regional title.
“We don’t want to try to be something we’re not,” Frontenac head baseball coach Bill Sullivan said. “We’re going to keep doing the things we’ve always done, not change anything, we’ll worry about ourselves, and our league has prepared us for stuff like this. It’s a tough league, competitive league, every week, and our non-conference schedule has been good, so we’re just going to go play and be ourselves, and see what happens.”
Frontenac will play Hesston in the quarterfinal round of the Class 3A state tournament on Thursday (May 27) with first pitch set for 5:45 p.m. CST. Winners of both games will play in the semifinals on Friday (May 28) followed by the state championship game.