Mr. Speaker, this past Friday, the girls from Atascocita High School Softball team earned a trip to State by beating top ranked Katy. They claimed the Region III 6A Championship and are headed to State for the second time in three years. 

Congratulations. It is an honor to recognize a talented group of ladies on the field and off the field. The girls are set to play this Friday, in Austin, at McCombs Field against Plano. 

Atascocita High School softball team has six seniors on their team. Last November, three of them signed college scholarships to play at the next level: Lauren Bazan, Harding University; Kyla Snow, Texas Southern University; and, Lillie Grotenhuis, San Jacinto College.

The name Grotenhuis is well known in my community. In 2014, Atascocita High School Head Softball coach, Jimbo Grotenhuis, unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack. One of his daughters, Lillie, is a talented senior on the team. 

She never got to play for her father at the high school level, but she has his passion and drive for the game. Jimbo was a legend in the softball community, so much, that Humble ISD renamed the Atascocita High School softball field in his memory. 

Written in large black letters, on a red brick wall, behind home plate, it says ‘‘Welcome to James ‘‘Jimbo’’ Grotenhuis Field’’. The lessons Jimbo taught in the short time he coached at Atascocita High School were invaluable. 

It is said that the measure of a man is the influence that he has on the lives of others. I have no doubt, that the Atascocita High School Softball team will carry his spirit of hard work and dedication with them to State. 

For the last four years, AHS Head Coach Ashley Boyd has stepped up to the plate and filled Jimbo’s cleats. Her team’s record is impressive.

In an interview earlier this year, Coach Boyd said, ‘‘These players are proud of where they come from. They’re proud of this community, and they’re happy to get to represent them. They’ve worked their tails off.’’ 

Coach Boyd’s passion along with Assistant Alyssa Romero’s dedication will guide the Lady Eagles not only at State but far beyond game time.

The leadership of a coach not only improves an athlete’s performance but works to instill values of hard work and discipline.

So this weekend, grab the family, put on your red, white and blue, and head to Austin to cheer on our Lady Eagles. Let’s play ball.

And that’s just the way it is.