Would this be the year Gibsonburg got back to state?

J. Patrick Eaken

        Coach Martin Brown was in his seventh year coaching softball at Gibsonburg when they pulled the plug on the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
        Under his tenure, the Golden Bears have won league crowns six of seven times and, also won five district championships but have been unable to get beyond the regional tournament to state.
        It was the same last year. Despite a regional final tournament loss to perennial power Convoy Crestview, it had been a season for Gibsonburg that not only resulted in a successful tournament run — it led to a league co-championship with New Riegel (23-5) the first year in the Sandusky Bay Conference River Division. New Riegel also reached the regional, losing to Antwerp (19-2), 3-2..
        Brown was hoping this year would be different.
        “Our goal early on, even though we only got to talk a little bit, was to try and get over the hump at regionals and at least make a showing at state, but we’ll never know if that would have happened,” Brown said.
        Brown feels the River Division would have helped prepare Gibsonburg, much like the Suburban Lakes League did when coach Erica Foster saw her team win three state championships behind pitcher Jamie Wonderly, who went on to excel at Butler University.
        “That’s a very difficult division, a lot of good competition and we would have had a our hands full with that, for sure, but that’s what you want when you are playing softball — good competition,” Brown said.
        For Brown, he’s already thinking about next year.
        “We have several of our returning players playing travel ball, so that is always plus and that gives the younger girls some guidance and desire to want to get better and play travel ball as well,” Brown said.


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