HEALDTON — As the saying often goes “Less is More.”

HEALDTON — As the saying often goes “Less is More.” 

This season, the Healdton Lady Bulldogs are going to be managing with less than other teams.

A total of 11 players will be suited up in the blue uniforms of HHS softball when the season begins on Aug. 8. The situation isn’t ideal for veteran head coach Joel Bradberry, but it’s nothing he’s not used to. 

“Anytime you are at a small school, things like this happen a lot,” Bradberry said. “In 2002 though, we won a state championship with just 10 players. We had four freshmen and four sophomores out of those 10 players. The thing I like though is less numbers means more reps throughout the season. You will improve more during the season because you can get more reps than say a squad with 20-25 players.”

“These girls also get more individual attention with being a smaller squad,” Bradberry added. “Sometimes kids get left behind, because you have to work with your best nine or ten players and aren’t able to get to everyone else. I have my best players already, so we don’t have that problem. This group also is very close and gets along great. The better you get along the better you play.”

Healdton softball is no stranger to the state tournament, owning a combined 27 state appearances in both fast and slow pitch softball.

HHS owns two state titles in 2002 and 2009, along with three runner-up finishes in 2003, 2010, and 2013, all under coach Bradberry.

Ironically enough, the last time the Lady Bulldogs reached the state tournament came in 2013, something the senior class of 2018 is looking to change.

Maddie Bradberry, Mollie Marshall, Jessie Black, Josey Brooks, Bayli Thompson and Adrie Brown make up the senior six core which will be relied upon this season for the Lady Bulldogs.

Other players who will be looked at to make an impact will be Whisper Love, Courtney Doyal, Torree Wingo, Cierra Patty and Macey Howell.

“Every year at Healdton, the girls are fired up about wanting to make it to state,” Bradberry said. “Sometimes it’s a blessing, and sometimes it’s a curse. Healdton softball has been good for years and years before I even got here it was good. The girls growing up looking at that sign in the outfield with the state appearances, and the sign on the back of the dugout with all the All-State players listed. They know what this place has done and where it’s been and they want to do the same.” 

“My biggest deal is I want these girls to enjoy themselves,” Bradberry added. “Sometimes they put more pressure on themselves than they need to. As long as they play hard and do what they can, we’re happy with them.”

Headlton will open the season on Aug. 8 in a triangular against Davis and Plainview at Davis, before heading to Central High in Marlow for the Lady Broncho Invitational on Aug. 10-12. HHS will play its first two home games of the season on Aug. 14 and 15 against Wynnewood and Ringling respectively.

“We have a lot of people in new positions, but we are athletic,” Bradberry said. “We’ve been known for our defense. If our offense comes around then we’ll be good this season.”