SOFTBALL: PCHS senior named VHSL 2A Player of the Year for third-straight season

SHENANDOAH — Kate Gordon trotted away from last Friday’s state quarterfinal loss knowing it was the last time she would wear a Panther Blue uniform.

Her high school playing career had come to an abrupt end as the Lady Panthers were eliminated from the postseason in a, 3-1, loss to Lebanon.

All of the memories swirled through her head as the senior joined her team on the 140-mile bus ride home from Salem to Luray. Two state championships, multiple game-winning home runs, and the undeniable chemistry formed with her teammates remained in the forefront of her mind.

While the immediate aftermath of the loss stung, its impossible for Gordon to spot many negatives when reflecting on her time on one of the most dominant sports programs in recent Page County history.

Last week, Gordon was named VHSL 2A Player of the Year for the third-straight season, a rare feat for any high school athlete.

“I’m really thankful to earn the honors three years in a row,” Gordon said. “Thinking about it now, that doesn’t happen often. But I would definitely have never had the chance without the help of my teammates and us reaching states for a third-straight year.”

Gordon has played year-round softball since middle school, so the coming months will feel like any other summer. She will suit up for the Beverly Bandits — a Chicago based 18-U team that prepares high school players for the collegiate level — while living with a host family in the Windy City. In the fall, Gordon will begin training with her new teammates at James Madison University.

But while next year, will hold new promise with limitless opportunity playing for one of the nation’s top collegiate programs, Gordon will always cherish her time as a Lady Panther.

“I’ll miss my team the most,” Gordon said. “No matter what happened during the day, they were always there to pick me up.”

And her teammates — many who have been by her side through every step of the journey — will never forget Gordon’s presence on the field.

“She’s a great teammate and her work ethic motivates everyone around her,” fellow graduating senior Savanah Plum said of Gordon. “I’ve played with her my whole life, and she’s always the type of player you want to have as a teammate. She’s a great role model and team captain, and really did deserve to win Player of the Year once again.”

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