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Newton's squad will learn on field

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Aug. 15, 2003
The Newton Tigerettes face a host of challenges entering the 2003 softball season, but the biggest obstacle of all may be their own inexperience.
The team fields 29 players this year, but 15 of them are in 7th or 8th grade. The starting lineup features two 7th graders and two 8th graders. The Tigerettes' lone senior is Ashley Nicholson, but even she is entering her first year of high school softball.
Many of the Tigerettes are playing softball for the first time, according to Newton head coach Luke Gibbon.
Gibbon said a young team suffers most of all from inexperience, but there are practical disadvantages as well.
Newton is not without its leaders, though. Outfielder Chotsani Henderson is only a sophomore, but is in her third year with the team and may be the team's best offensive player, according to Gibbon.
Sophomore Jazz Wheeler, who went 2-for-2 with two triples in a loss to Southeast Lauderdale on Saturday, has also been a reliable hitter.
The best teaching tool, said Gibbon, will be the experience gained by his young squad.