By Tamas Mondovics
Riverview High School softball team had to begin the 2015-2016 Class 8A District 6 season with a tough loss last month, one that unfortunately cannot be posted on the scoreboard or be remedied by a rematch.
Longtime softball head coach Angela Slater, who led the Lady Sharks to two state titles, lost a year-long battle with cancer (large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma) an aggressive form of cancer.
Slater began her softball coaching experience three decades ago, amassing more than 500 victories including the Sharks’ state titles wins in 2000 and ’02.
As the Riverview coach since the school’s opening in 1996, Slater also led the girls to be state runner ups in 2003, ultimately turning the program into a much-respected softball powerhouse.
Slater has been assisted by her husband Ron, who also coaches golf at the school and, who has vowed to continue his wife’s legacy, with the help of his son, Cody.
“She loved every minute of coaching the game and everything she did,” Ron said just minutes prior to the Sharks hosting Bloomingdale.
“Angela is with me at each game,” Ron added. “She is still the coach. At the start of each game she is announced as the head coach.”
While saddened, the girls are ready to give their best as each game is played with Angela’s presence felt on the field.
As for Ron, keeping busy and continuing his wive’s legacy is the order of each day.
“I am not ready to teach just yet, but I keep coaching the girls as Angela wanted,” Ron said as tears welled up in his eyes. “What else would I do? I mean we were married for 35 s, and knew her for four years before that.
We were more than just married. We were friends. We did everything together. I mean, how do you say goodbye?”
For more information about the Riverview Sharks softball team, please visit www.maxpreps.com.