Bullets get plenty of hometown support at state championships|Fans turn out in mass at Walnut Creek

Published 12:44 am Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sports Editor

RALEIGH — Elizabeth Ange tried to smile Friday night, but the tears flowed easily. While the lone senior was upset that her Jamesville Bullets had just been eliminated from the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A state championships, she certainly wasn’t alone.
Elizabeth Ange, along with her teammates, received countless hugs and supportive pats on the back from friends, family and fans.
“We have the best fans,” she said. “They traveled everywhere we went. I’m really thankful.”
The Bullets (15-6), who had won 11 straight heading into the state tournament, lost 3-0 to North Johnston in the East Regional championship game, then dropped a 5-0 decision to East Surry in the loser’s bracket contest.
“Yes, it’s exciting to get here, but you come here to win,” said Jamesville head coach Richie Ange, who also took a team to the 2006 state championships.
Jamesville had plenty of support during the two games. Fans of all ages, clad in red and white, packed the stands at both games.
It seemed that the small, hometown feel of Jamesville made its way to Raleigh.
Cheers of “red” and “white” echoed throughout the night. The fans even broke into a “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” chorus during the sixth inning.
That boisterous support certainly wasn’t lost on Richie Ange.
“That doesn’t surprise me,” Richie Ange said. “I told the girls that we’d have the largest and loudest crowd here.
“That’s just how Jamesville is, and it’s really nice. I know the girls are getting hugs because the fans are proud of them, and so am I.”
Richie Ange will have to replace just one player off this 2009 state championship-qualifying team. However, the loss of Elizabeth Ange, who was also a volleyball and basketball standout with the Bullets, is huge.
“She’s one of the best female athletes to ever come through here,” Richie Ange said. “She had been our leadoff batter for four years. Those will be some big shoes to fill.
“Somebody is going to have to step up (next year). Not one person can fill just her shoes. We’ll have to do that as a group.”
Coach Ange will have loads of talent returning from this year’s squad. That includes standout freshman pitcher Caroline Tetterton.
“That certainly looks good for us,” Richie Ange said.
Also returning to the Bullets are catcher Corey Ange, first baseman Haley Bowen, second baseman Peri Ange, third baseman Victoria Rogers, rightfielder Joanna Askew, centerfielder Ashley Mobley, leftfielder Paige Lilley and designated hitter Emily Griffin.
“Next year begins a new year,” Richie Ange said. “I look forward to next year.”
It won’t be the same without Elizabeth Ange, who was a fireball and star for the Bullets.
“It’s meant everything (to play at Jamesville),” said Elizabeth Ange, who broke down in tears shortly after answering.
She’ll miss Jamesville, and Jamesville will certainly miss her.