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Don't second-guess Eagles' success

June 6, 2008
By DANA SULONEN Tribune Chronicle

AKRON - Everyone at some point in their lives has second-guessed a choice they made. You can question yourself until you're blue in the face on the coulda, shoulda, wouldas, but in the end, the story has been written. There's no going back. In JFK's 5-1 loss to Triad Thursday at Akron Firestone Stadium, many coaches, players and fans could probably wonder for years to come if certain plays would have happened another way, or didn't happen at all, would the Eagles have won and had the chance to play for the state championship on Saturday? The answer is, no one knows. The two biggest plays people are going to be talking about for months, and maybe years, to come is the risk coach Joe Sylvester took in waving home Gina Gelsomino in the third inning and Jackie Kolovich in the sixth. Both girls were thrown out at the plate. If the two were stopped at third instead of sent home, would Kennedy have won? Maybe. Maybe not. Though it might seem that if the two were held, they eventually would have scored. The fact is, you don't know. The next batters could strike out, ending the inning with no chance of scoring. The next batters maybe could have popped out. Again, you never know. Pitcher Rachel Pico could wonder if she had thrown another pitch to Chelsie Brooks, would she have not hit it over the fence to end the game. The answer is, maybe, or maybe not. Maybe Brooks would have struck out. But who knows what would have happened one batter later. Everyone is going to look back at moments through Thursday's game and wonder, "what would have happened if... ." The fact is, what's done is done. Don't ponder the things you can't change. Instead, remember the things that made this season one for the history books. With 12 girls in the entire softball program and no junior varsity team, the Eagles compiled a 20-5 record. They defeated teams such as Ursuline (Division III), Ashtabula Edgewood (Division II) and knocked off the defending state champion Dalton Bulldogs. They came a run away from defeating Division I Massillon Jackson, Division II Poland and Division III Cardinal Mooney. Those are tough schools to play when you're a Division IV school with 12 players on your roster. Seven of the starting nine Kennedy players received either first or second team all-league honors. In addition, Pico was named to the second-team All Ohio. The most obvious accomplishment the Eagles made was advancing to the first-ever state appearance by a girls softball team at JFK High School. The only other girls team to reach the state level was the girls golf team in 1999. This Kennedy team made history this season and has now set the bar for teams to come. Though Thursday's game didn't end the way coaches, players and fans wanted it to, don't forget about the good things that came before it. It's the reason you were all there in the first place. Congratulations on a great season Eagles. It's been a pleasure going on the ride with you all. Sulonen is a sports writer at the Tribune Chronicle. E-mail her at



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