05/30/12 — CBA softball seniors -- Leaders in the Golden Falcons' nest

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CBA softball seniors -- Leaders in the Golden Falcons' nest

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 30, 2012 1:48 PM

The Charles B. Aycock softball team is a perfect example that a family in harmony will prosper in everything.

Boy, the Golden Falcons are certainly singing a glorious tune these days.

Five seniors -- Connor Davis, Misty Edwards, Ivy Hartzell, Rachel Jordan and Brooke Bell -- orchestrate a squad that has meshed its different personalities and put itself in position to contend for a state title. They get a chance to accomplish that season-long goal this weekend at Walnut Creek in Raleigh.

C.B. Aycock faces western champion Fred T. Foard in the best-of-three, N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A championship series that starts Friday. First pitch is 8 p.m. The second game is Saturday at 11 a.m. and a third game, if necessary, is 2:30 p.m.

Encouragement, assurance, loyalty and emotional refueling are just a few intangibles the Golden Falcons have shown this season. And each senior brings a different characteristic to the diamond either in practice or in games.

Edwards is happy go-lucky.

Hartzell is quiet, but competitive like head coach Brad Matthews.

Bell is a go-getter.

Jordan is a defensive genius at third base.

Davis is steady on offense.

"It's been a blessing to be able to coach five girls like them," Matthews said. "They're fun to be around, all their personalities are different and they get along with everybody. All five are great leaders who lead by example."

Friends since their Babe Ruth and Hurricane travel ball days, the quintet has developed faith in each other and in their younger teammates. They recognize each other's strong points, help each other through their faults and they avoid drama.

They don't mind sharing personal problems.

They always find something to smile and laugh about.

"We know how to approach the other person, what to say to them and how to keep them up," third baseman Rachel Jordan said. "We talk about everything. We share our personal problems. We really are a family and we want the best for all of us."

Jordan, Bell and Davis were freshmen when Aycock seized the 2009 eastern regional crown and finished third overall at Walnut Creek. Hartzell and Edwards joined the Golden Falcons the following spring, and the team endured a season-ending, second-round playoff loss at D.H. Conley.

One year ago, Wilson Hunt stunned Aycock in the second round.

Memories of those heart-breaking defeats continue to sting. But some of the angst was erased after the Golden Falcons swept Western Alamance in the best-of-three eastern regional series last weekend. Aycock claimed its fourth regional crown since 2000 -- the only year that it's reached the state title game.

Jordan said there isn't one star player on the team.

The young talent has grown up and proven itself.

"This team is my family," pitcher Brooke Bell said. "Being with these girls is awesome, really indescribable and I could not ask for a better senior softball season at all."