Four-time defending state champion Broncs prepare for 2017 season

Four-time defending state champion Broncs prepare for 2017 season.

MISSOULA, Mont. - High school softball is set to begin this week throughout Montana. Meaning the start of the journey for the four-time defending state champion Broncs of Frenchtown to make it five in a row.

Winning has become almost second nature to the program, but it doesn't come without preparation and some sleepless nights.

"Every year is new and that's what's fun," said Frenchtown softball head coach Eli Field. "How are we going to mix and match our kids? How's our pitching going to pan out? How are we going to score runs?"

The seniors on this team know that in this final season of their careers, it's all about continuing the tradition and making it count.

"It's kind of sad, especially because we're getting so many new girls that are so talented," said Broncs senior catcher Allison Hochhalter. I'm sad that I have to leave and not get to watch them go through high school, but I'm excited to finish it off right."

The leadership role gets passed down seamlessly every year and that's how this program is able to mesh well together.

"Make sure that everyone is included in the sport," said Broncs senior outfielder Carley Thompson. "Don't think, 'oh, we're seniors, we get to do everything.' Just make sure everyone gets to play."

The road to another state championship doesn't just come from the usual off-season preparation, but also from staying loose as a unit and having fun.

"All those little things make a difference," said Field, "because they're just things that kids look forward to coming out to softball. It's comforting."

What might not be so comfortable, is the target the 4-time champs will have on their back this year, but with another season on the horizon, more history can still be made.

Frenchtown will begin its quest for five state championships in a row on March 28, when they host Sentinel at 6 p.m.