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Lady Trojans are doing something special

This wasn't a team you'd predict to be headed to the state semifinals. Chambersburg's softball program hasn't won a state title since 1997 and hasn't even been to the state tournament in seven years.

But all the way back on March 21 - the first day I met first-year coach Chris Skultety - I felt a glimmer of exactly this potential.

"We're harping on the journey and enjoying every day," Skultety said at that time. "We're trying to build a team camaraderie, and we're buying in. They're holding each other accountable, and that's what I need to have happen because it's their team."

The Lady Trojans reiterated those sentiments, even though it was still merely the preseason.

"This year, we're keeping it a team thing," Chambersburg pitcher Sam Bender said. "We've been doing a lot of team bonding and have set some guidelines for our team. (Coach) respects us as much as he expects us to respect him."

Trojan senior Tara Harmon said: "My freshman, sophomore and junior year, it was more like fend for yourself. This year, I feel like I've already received 31 more sisters, and even the coaches are bonding with us. We're not looking at states, we're not looking at districts. We're looking at getting better, and progressing each day in practice."

Harmon and the Trojans may not have been looking at districts or states, but here they are. Chambersburg won the District 3 Class AAAA championship, and is now more than prepared to take on Hempfield Area in the PIAA-AAAA semifinals.

Immediately after the Trojans beat Mifflin County in the quarterfinals, I received a tweet that Hempfield is a tough team. I couldn't help but reply: "So is Chambersburg."

"There are four teams left in the state in AAAA, so let teams overlook us until the game is over, that's fine," Skultety said. "My big thing is we've been preaching that we want to make them tell us we can't play anymore. It's just so much fun being around these girls."

What's especially great to see in Chambersburg is the definition of a team. There is no one superstar. No shutdown pitcher. No lights-out hitter (well, except Leah Hunt). No hero. They all do it, and they all do it well.

And hopefully, they're enjoying the ride.

"I told them to stay in the moment, enjoy it as much as you can, and we'll reflect on it when it's all over," Skultety said. "They'll look back on this and see how special it really was. We've met a lot of goals this season, and now we've got one more game to get to our final goal, one more game to get to where we want to be."