NICEVILLE — Crestview High School’s softball team’s season came to an end Wednesday with a disappointing 9-0 loss to Tate in the District-7A softball tournament. But by all accounts the season was a success under the direction of first-year coach Holly Gibson. Crestview finished the year with a 12-12 record. The Bulldogs also beat rival Niceville for the first time in more than a decade.


NICEVILLE — Crestview High School’s softball team’s season came to an end Wednesday with a disappointing 9-0 loss to Tate in the District-7A softball tournament.



But by all accounts the season was a success under the direction of first-year coach Holly Gibson. Crestview finished the year with a 12-12 record. The Bulldogs also beat rival Niceville for the first time in more than a decade.



Crestview only graduates one senior, Taylor Henderson, off this year’s team. And with junior pitcher Taylor Rolison coming back for her senior season after recording 266 strikeouts the future looks bright for the Bulldogs.



Rolison didn’t just carry the load in the pitching circle. Gibson said she led the team in batting, runs scored, stolen bases and almost every other offensive category.



Gibson was already focused on next year and the playoffs less than 30 minutes after the season-ending loss.



“That’s our goal (the playoffs) next year and we are starting next week,” she said. “Next year is our year. We are coming with a vengeance because we have the pitching and a lot of returners that have that experience.



“The young ones have a year (of varsity experience) behind them.”



The Florida High School Athletic Association has yet to release the new softball districts that will be in place from next spring through 2019. But often the basketball districts are a good indication of how softball district will shape up. If next year’s softball district is the same as the basketball district the Bulldogs will no longer have to contend with tradional powers Tate and Niceville to make the playoffs.



There’s a good chance the Bulldogs will be in a new District 2-6A next fall along with Fort Walton Beach and Choctawhatchee. If that’s the case Crestview should be the preseason pick to win district title.



Gibson did allow herself a few minutes to reflect on the 2015 season and everything it represents for the future. She admitted at the start of the season she didn’t see the team doing so well.  



“This has been an overwhelming experience,” she said. “I’m so proud of them (finishing the year) 12-12. It’s a 500 season and we beat Niceville.”  



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