By Tamas Mondovics
Riverview High School teacher and Sharks softball head coach, Angela Slater, reached a landmark not too many can call their own.
By defeating district rival East Bay 9-6, Slater earned her 500th win as program head coach; the only one since the school opened in 1998.
With the Sharks victory, Slater’s anticipated achievement was sealed with Jordan Phillips’ three-run homer in the seventh inning which also erased a two-run deficit.
Kaitlyn McMillan led off the inning with a single, which allowed Phillips to step up to the plate.
“Reaching 500 wins feels great,” Slater said during a post-game interview, but didn’t waste time keeping things real as she turned the conversation back to her team, thus demonstrating the reason for her coaching career success.
“We have much more to go and focus as we have to play East Bay and Plant City again if we are to win this district,” she said.
Of course, for Slater, with more than 27 years of coaching softball in Hillsborough County, marching toward the end of another season with the district title in mind is nothing new.
As a former Brandon coach before taking over at Riverview, Slater gets help from her husband Ron and has been guiding the Sharks for the past 15 seasons.
While pleased with the current roster and the girls’ performance so far, Slater did mention a few deficiencies including the lack of experience, which she said does pose a challenge.
“We are simply a young team with not a whole lot of depth,” she said but added, “It’s all about growing and learning from each game and to be ready for districts.”
Commenting on winning her 500th game, Riverview High School principal, Robert Heilmann, spoke highly of the program and its coaching staff.
“Angela is a terrific role model, coach, and teacher,” Heilmann said.
Besides his school’s softball program success, Heilmann spoke highly of the other athletics which have seen a number of changes during the 2012-2013 school year.
For more information about the Sharks, please visit www.maxpreps.com.