CANTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Don’t look now but for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, softball teams in the Mid-Illini Conference trying to catch Canton.
“It feels very good,” said junior pitcher Ella Dixon. “Canton doesn’t have a very good reputation. I think we’re finally stepping up and taking the job.”
The Little Giants opened the season with a six-game win streak and now are 10-and-2. And at 5-1 are sitting atop the conference standings.
“In 7th grade, we made it to state. We took second,” said senior Ellyn Petty. “I thought we’d be pretty good. But I didn’t know we’d be this good. We’re really good.”
It’s been a difficult year here in Canton. At the beginning of the school year, the entire athletic department was shut down because of COVID.
No teams had any practices, games or meetings for about a month. So this contending softball team is bringing a refreshing end to the school year which has included multiple COVID stoppages for Little Giant athletic teams.
“I think we’re giving life to the community. We’re getting a lot of support. The girls are fun to watch,” said veteran coach Bob Barnes. “They’re aging me and I can’t age to quick. What a great group of girls. We’ve overcome a lot of things that people don’t know about.”
They feel like they’re a positive story coming out of a rough year. And Canton softball players are embracing the fun they’re having with this role.
“It’s been rough with COVID,” Dixon said. “But since we are out here playing good games, it’s definitely helping everybody. Everybody coming to watch.”