The Tampa Prep softball team was nearly shut out, eliminated four seasons ago. But head coach Bob Gambino made a promise to the one and only girl who came out for tryouts.
Coach Bob told Rachel Gordon he would stick with her and help her build the Terrapins softball program.
Rachel started recruiting, but it wasn't easy, especially as a freshman.
"In the beginning, it was really difficult,” Rachel said. "Because we only had a couple players that were willing to come to practice, let alone that were actually committed to the team."
Gambino had to teach the basics to girls who had never played softball before. He says games were "ugly," and that Tampa Prep was known as a "sure win" for opposing teams.
Coach Bob learned patience, encouraged girls to take chances and not be afraid to make mistakes. Little by little, the ability and commitment grew, and the Terrapins became a true team.
Now, Tampa Prep softball has just wrapped up a winning season, the second straight year they made it to the district semi-finals.
The Terrapins would like to contend for bigger titles, but Rachel Gordon and the other seniors will graduate knowing they accomplished something far beyond the wins and losses.
"It feels absolutely amazing, even when we have losses,” Rachel said. "I remind everybody about how far we've come the last four years, and the fact that we would have never been able to imagine us getting to this point already, so it's just a great feeling."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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