PHARR – The PSJA Softball Team returns one starter from last year’s state-ranked squad.

Just. One.

The 2020 PSJA Bears were expected to make a deep run, collecting impressive regular-season wins over the likes of Calallen and San Antonio Reagan. Statistically, the Bears astounded as well, accounting for 19 homeruns with 15 games remaining in the season. Once COVID-19 led officials to cancel the season, PSJA Head Coach Eric Madera was left wondering what could have been of a team featuring eight seniors.

“All those girls were with me since their freshman year,” Coach Madera said. “We were going to have a big run, and we knew we were.”

Now, junior Madison Lopez represents the lone-returning starter from the 2020 Bears squad. Lopez brings a bit of experience to a team full of newcomers.

“Last year, we meshed so well together,” Lopez said. “This year, we just have to learn how to mesh well together with new girls.”

Despite the limited experience on the field, the PSJA Bears, like many other teams, are also dealing with limited time.

In an effort to limit the spread of COVID 19, many sports have implemented limited offseasons and shortened regular-season schedules. With a young, inexperienced team on deck, Coach Madera understands the difficult task he has of getting his team prepared for the season.

“We have talented girls that know how to play softball,” Coach Madera said. “But, the experience is not going to be there… and since we haven’t been able to play since last year, it is going to be tough.”

On March 13, 2020, the Bears played their last softball game of the season, defeating district rivals PSJA North in an 8-1 home victory. Regardless of the difficult task ahead, the PSJA Bears are thrilled to simply return the field.

“It’s been fun here these last two weeks,” Coach Madera said. “It’s exciting just to be out here again.”

The Bears are expected to return to the field for the 2021 season in late February.