ANGLETON — It’s not the size of the Houston Astros’ World Series ring, but now the Angleton Ladycats have a state championship ring to call their own after winning the UIL Class 5A state softball title in June in Austin.
Friday before the Angleton Wildcat football team opened the 2019 season at Wildcat Stadium, the Ladycats were officially handed their championship rings in front of the Wildcat faithful
“It feels like it should have been there for a long time,” Angleton Ladycat head softball coach Cindy Rubio said. “But it really does feel great to finally have it.”
Just like a World Series ring for Major League Baseball, championship softball rings are hard to come by. The Ladycats put together a 39-1 season, beating Corpus Christi Calallen, 8-1, in the finals at Red & Charline McCombs Field, home to the Texas Lady Longhorns.
“The ring feels great,” a smiling second baseman Reagan Kotrla said after the ceremony Friday. “All I did was just stare at it when I got it.”
Kotrla was one of five seniors who Angleton will lose after graduation. For Kotrla and company, it was a long time coming to finally get that shiny big ring.
“Whenever I got the message that we were getting it, I was in shock, but it also brought back all of the memories,” Kotrla said. “I mean when we finally got them it just sunk in, because before it felt like a dream that we had won. But when we got that ring, I just knew it wasn’t a dream anymore.”
This was Angleton’s fourth trip to a state championship in the sport. The state title was only duplicated by the 1994 team.
For Rubio, a former Ladycat player, it was all so sweet.
“For me personally, I think that it’s been such a long journey from the time I decided that coaching was my true calling,” Rubio said. “It was the place that I needed to be at, and when you start the dream is to get to this position and accomplish it. Coaching now has a lot more meaning to me because you are the one who is behind the girls pushing them, mentoring them and being there with them through their ups and downs.
“To get to this level and I’ve had some close calls having been there. When was in Danbury after I left, they went on to win a championship. But I knew that I wanted to come back to Angleton and after getting there and coming so close, but finally being able to push through and get that championship, it really hit home for me.”
Not in Friday’s ceremony were Aaliyah Garcia, Avery Farr and Ellie Grill, who had already reported to their respective college programs, where they will continue playing softball at the next level. Their parents accepted their rings in their place.
The design was one of a kind.
“We looked at some different things and ideas that were out there,” Rubio said. “We did know that we wanted to make it special for the girls. Just by having it, everyone has the same design with our name and record on it. It is a unique one and it belongs to us.”