TEMPLETON — The Templeton Eagles girls softball team is the Division 3 champions of the CIF Central Section and on Wednesday they were presented with a certificate of recognition from Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham’s office.
Cunninghman, who is an alum of Atascadero High School and has kids in the district, sent a representative from his office, Kristen Handly, who told the girls gathered in front of Templeton High School that he had been following them throughout their run as he is a big supporter of local athletics.
“We couldn’t be prouder of these amazing athletes,” Cunningham said in a statement. “They made the entire Central Coast proud.”
Less than half of the softball team was available for the presentation of the certificate as school was officially out this week, with graduation happening on June 6, but the girls that were in attendance were all smiles as they received the prestigious honor.
“It was really neat to find out that Jordan [Cunningham] was actually following us all year,” Templeton head softball coach Keith Swank said at the presentation. “And great to know that people outside of the actual school and who aren’t part of the softball related families to step up and acknowledge, it is really neat to see everybody get involved and support us.”
This is not the first unique honor that the Eagle girls have received since coming home as champions. Upon their return home from Fresno State, where they played the CIF Championship game, the girls were treated to a fire truck parade escort down Main Street that turned into a scene from an old Disney movie as people from inside the restaurants peaked their heads out of the second story windows to sing their praises or ran outside to greet the girls even in the rain.
“Jordan Cunningham is very supportive of athletics,” Templeton Athletic Director Lindsay Franklin said. “He is actually going to start working with me on a project with our community and youth coaches, so he has always been supportive of Templeton and THS Athletics. It is really cool for our kids to see that other people are watching and know that the community is behind them.”
If you are unfamiliar with the Eagles run, they entered the D3 playoffs as a No. 2 seed after finishing third in the Mountain League that is full of Division 1 teams, and two of the top 4 at that. Once in the playoffs, Templeton ace, Ashley Daugherty shut down opposing offenses while her team found their stride. The Eagles outscored their opponents 28-6 over their four-game playoff run capping it all off with a 3-2 suspense-filled victory at Fresno State on May 18. What might be most impressive about their title run is that they will only graduate two seniors from the freshman-heavy team and are poised to make another run next year.