STANFORD, Ill. (WMBD) – It was a day that could have upended the Olympia High School softball season.

We all thought it was a drill because we actually had a drill scheduled for the next day. And so we all walked outside and then when we turned around and look at the roof I saw black smoke coming off of the roof.”

Shelby Finchum, Olympia Junior

The fire closed the school for weeks, forcing the team and the rest of the student body into online learning. But the season kept rolling and provided a new spark for the Spartans.

“It was definitely one of those things where I wanna see my friends, I want to communicate with my teacher but at least it’s getting done,” said junior pitcher Danika Frazier.

“Similar to Covid,” Finchum added. “It’s not my favorite but it’s not too hard to get stuff done cause our teachers are really good at providing the work we need.”

But the season kept rolling and provided a new spark for the Spartans.

“It was kinda sad. It’s one of those things, you never want to see your school catch on fire. It was more just working mentally on when I come to softball and when you come to softball you leave everything behind. And it’s all about getting better piece by piece.”

Danika Frazier

They still are undefeated in conference play and the athletes say Coach Courtney Hoffman has kept them focused during this unusual season.

“Have fun on the field and also keep the pressure and high expectations for everyone regardless of a win or a loss,” Finchum said that was the message that Hoffman had for the team in the days after the fire.

Even so, winning is certainly the expectation for the Spartans program and their hearts are still burning for a trip to the Final Four.

We gotta focus. We can’t lose time worrying about something like that especially when we have regionals approaching and like this team is expected to win state..

Danika Frazier