Dobie’s Lady Longhorns head to softball regional quarterfinal playoffs

Dobie’s Lady Longhorns head to softball regional quarterfinal playoffs
Posted on 05/12/2021
Dobie’s Lady Longhorns head to softball regional quarterfinal playoffs

After winning against Alvin in a 7:5 victory, Dobie’s Lady Longhorns are headed to the softball regional quarterfinal playoffs. 

Dobie softball coach Robin Rackley and two senior members of the team, Karisa Hernandez and Jayla Arenas, shared some of their experiences this year and the benefits of being underdogs. 

Q: How long have you played softball?

Karisa Hernandez: I started playing at around four years old and I’ve been in the sport for about 10 years. I’ve stuck with softball because I feel like I learn something different every day. I’ve also had the opportunity to make new friends. 

Jayla Arenas: About 14 years, I think I was around three years old when I started playing softball. I grew up in a baseball family. My dad played baseball and my grandpa played baseball professionally in Mexico. I enjoy softball because it’s something to do with my dad and allows us to be close. It’s also fun to play the sport and make friends. I will always remember the bonds that I have formed with my teammates. My softball teammates, these are my real friends here. 

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced this season?

KH: We had to make sure that we as a team were all on the same page. We wanted everyone on the team to know that we have one goal this season: to make it to state. We had to learn to trust each other and know that each of us wanted the same thing. 

JA: We had to build a foundation this season and prove ourselves. I think one thing we have proven that we know how to do is execute. At the moment, we make sure to do the right thing.

Q: What do you like most about softball?

KH: I like the coaches and making friends. The coaches help teach life lessons and help you to grow. I’ve made friends through the sport and I feel like we have become a family, it’s a bonding experience. 

JA: Forming a family with my teammates. We have created a support system for each other on and off the field. I also enjoy the adrenaline of being on the field. I’m still pumped up from the game last night! (laughs)

Q: How long have you coached softball?

Coach Robin Rackley: This is my 22nd year as a coach and my 18th year coaching at Dobie. I went to Dobie and played softball here. I graduated in 1993 and was a member of the softball team that won the state championship. 

Q: What is this year’s team like?

Rackley: These girls, it’s like they have a chip on their shoulder. You know, we’re not a very big team and we’re sometimes overlooked. I always like to say that I would take a scrappy team with a lot of hustle and heart than a team full of anyone else. 

I think the hustle starts with the senior girls and it rubs off on everyone else. There are eight seniors on the team this year and they’re hungry. The senior girls have become leaders and they are doing a great job. Last year was tough. COVID had started and we didn’t have the opportunity to accomplish all that we wanted to. 

Q: Are you proud of this year’s team?

Rackley: I’m so proud of their accomplishments. Each year, we start in August. Now, most of these kids have blown their personal goals out of the water. We lost a game early in the season and sometimes with a loss like that, kids may want to quit and give up. Not these girls. 

Q: As a coach, what do you try to teach these young women?

Rackley: It’s all about mentoring young women. I tell them to always try to make an impact in whatever they do. We try to remind them that others are watching and  they need to be positive role models. Our team’s motto is “Sivako.” It means “ise to the challenge.” That is what we want our girls to do. 

We spend so much time with these girls and they become like your adopted daughters. The team turns into a family. 

Next, Dobie faces off against Clear Springs with game one of the three game series hosted on Thursday, May 13 at 6:30 p.m. at La Porte High School.