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“Nasty” Lady Jags End Sherwood’s 105 Game Win-Streak

On Saturday, March 25 the Northwest High School softball team traveled to Olney and slew the giant of Maryland softball.

The Lady Jags did something that no other team in Maryland has been able to do since 2011, and something that no Northwest softball team has been able to do since the school opened in 1998 – defeat the Sherwood Warriors 9-5. Sherwood was unbeaten in 105 games through the previous five seasons. The Warriors have won five-straight Division 4A Maryland State Championships going back to 2012, to call the Warriors softball program a powerhouse is an understatement.

“It is so good,” whispered senior captain Alexa Bowen through a Cheshire grin. “It was amazing. Finally, the moment that all of us have been waiting for happened.”

When asked what made this team different, what special power did this team have that allowed them to do what had not been done since the half the girls on the roster were in elementary school, Coach Michael Horton credited the team bonding which occurred during the team’s winter workouts.

Horton said the workouts and bonding created a team of “nasty” girls. He doesn’t mean disrespectful or dirty or immoral; Horton means that his team became lean, mean, and ready to win for each other. “The winter workouts and the team bonding that this team has done since October set this team up for this big win,” said Horton. “The workouts weren’t even softball related. It was all conditioning, but the girls really gelled and they became, for lack of a better word, nasty.”

The Lady Jags would meet every Tuesday and do yoga. The yoga and conditioning helped on build the girls’ core; it also helped build the team’s core. “Every Tuesday over the winter we did yoga,” said Bowen, “It was really fun because we would do a lot of partner work, and we would get to laugh at, and with each other as we worked to get more flexible and stronger.”

Horton said the winter workouts were mostly non-softball drills. He said, on one occasion the team did a tug-of-war against some of the Northwest football players, who were also in the gym doing their own conditioning workouts. “They went girls versus boys, and they were beating the boys, of course, there were more girls on the rope, but they weren’t going to give up an inch to the boys,” said Horton.

“The winter workouts made us stronger both as players and as a team,” said junior captain Chloe Hickman. “Everyone on this team has so much potential, and we respect each other for that, and it makes us stronger.”