Dardis ready for next step
Jordan Dardis knows this season will be special.
If anyone should know, it is Dardis. For the past three seasons, she has been a pivotal person in the Roughies' softball program as she saw considerable time as a freshman.
Now a senior, Dardis has seen enough of the broken promises of the past and is ready to take the next step in the program's future this spring. One of the initial steps to success this season was a 10-0 shutout over Palmerton in the team's opener.
"That was a huge win for us," said an enthusiastic Dardis. "We lost to them three times last season time being in the district playoffs. We really needed to beat them to start the season. They (Palmerton) have become our new rivals in some ways.
"It was a good feeling to begin the season."
One of several seniors who have been key contributors over the past three seasons, Dardis is convinced there can be some magic in the 2013 season.
"We have so much talent here this year," she stressed. "Over the past couple of years when one of our starters got hurt, we were in trouble. But this year, we have depth. That will be a key for us. We have some younger players who can step in when they are needed.
"We also have two starting pitchers, which most teams don't have. With the talent, we also have a good chemistry and attitude on this club."
Dardis also is optimistic some early wins can gain her club some recognition in Lehigh Valley softball circles.
"People read the newspapers to see which teams win and will be the consistent ones," she said.
We want to have people read about Catty beating some teams and beating them convincingly. When it comes to the (Colonial League), people don't think about Catty being a contending team.
"This season, we want to go out and show them we can be."
As well as having her team reach another level, Dardis wants to do whatever she can in the process. She has been among the most versatile players on the team playing third base, first base, second base, and the outfield over the past three seasons. Currently, she handles third base for the Roughies, where she is most comfortable. Dardis also has been among the team leaders in every offensive category over the past three seasons.
Dardis also began her career late as she didn't begin playing softball until sixth grade. Through the years, she has been a cheerleader, a sport she maintains. In addition, she is a member of the school's National Honor Society, Varsity C, Student Council, and SADD.
Next year, she plans to attend East Stroudsburg University where she will pursue a degree in exercise science with her sights set on becoming either an occupational or physical therapist. Even though her softball aspirations will end in high school, Dardis wouldn't mind coach youth softball someday.
One of her biggest influences in her athletic career has been head coach Bobby Thomas, who reciprocates the admiration.
"Jordan (Dardis) has been one of the hardest workers over the past three years," said Thomas. "As a freshman, she was able to step right into out lineup and has really grown as a player. She will be one of our leaders this spring and is a player who you don't easily forget."
Chances are, Dardis will make plenty of memorable moments this year.