The 2021 Softball season kicks off on Friday, February 5th in Waxahachie, TX against Southwestern Assembly of God University. The game marks the beginning of the Coach Ryan Lindsey era. We were able to sit down with Coach Lindsey this week to ask him about his upcoming season.
"I think the most exciting thing about the upcoming season is the unknown" Coach Lindsey told us when asked what is the most exciting aspect of the upcoming season. "I know that seems very odd to say as a coach but coming from baseball to softball I find myself constantly answering the question 'how do you think you will do?'. When I sit back and try to answer it I come back to 'I have no idea'" he continued. "I know we are talented but at the same time young. I don't know much about our opponents having been with baseball. The unknown of what these young girls will accomplish and react to college athletics and their potential to be great is the most exciting unknown." Coach Lindsey is stepping into this role after serving as an assistant coach for the Ecclesia College baseball team. "So I look at the unknowns like a kid at Christmas looking at the unwrapped presents not knowing if it is that Playstation 5, or underwear and socks" he quipped.
When asked what his concerns and expectations were as a first year head coach he told us, "My main concern this year will be moving into the head coaching role. Did I do enough to put the girls in the best position to be successful?" He continued, "[My] exciting expectations are the level of talent we are developing and watching the girls become at family and tap into that talent. This talent and family is what I think our fans will love coming to the ballpark to see because the energy these girls display is contagious. It is impossible to be around this group and not have a good time. This group displays so much passion, love, and grit mixed with the perfect amount of silly" Ryan told us.
"Our roster is young but I would not trade them for anything" He told us. "They come to work everyday with smiles and get after it. We have made big strides in a lot of ways and this group is laying a foundation for the years to come."
To wrap up, we asked coach if there was a team theme for the year or personal challenge within the program. Coach Lindsey, as always, did not disappoint. He told us, "I challenged our players to BE LIKE A GOLDFISH! Goldfish are the happiest animals in the world because they have a 10 second memory. When things don't go our way, be like a goldfish and forget it. Move on and move forward. I have also asked them to be bold. If they make an error - make a big error - because we were so confident. Play unabashed and with confidence that you can make every play."
He added, "It is a honor to be around this group daily and I would like to thank the entire coaching staff at Ecclesia for pouring into me and the program whenever I need help or insight."
We all look forward to seeing this program take the field. They are not wasting any time as the immediately jump into Central Region play against SAGU to open their sechedule. At the moment the Lady Royals start their season with 14 straight NAIA road contests against SAGU, Jarvis Christian, Ottawa U., Williams Baptist, and Texas A&M-Texarkana. They then get to open at the improved Royal Ballpark on the campus of Ecclesia College on March 1st against Crowley's Ridge College. The Royals will play a total of 14 home games against the fore-mentioned CRC, and also Central Baptist College, Mid-America Christian, Southwestern Christian, Cottey College, and Bacone College which will serve as their Senior Day. Their road contests through the middle of their season do not get any easier with a classic hosted by Crowley's Ridge and more NAIA contests at Southwestern Christian, Mid-America Christian, Central Christian College in KS, and ending the season with another trip to SAGU.
Come support the young Lady Royals squad. More than 50% of their roster are true freshman, with another three sophomores added, and rounded out by two juniors and a lone senior. The first year Head Coach has a very moldable and charismatic team that is sure to give us some highlights this year. Follow along @ecclesia_royals for updates as the season progresses, catch their home games on campus, and check here for all your post-game recaps!