Sunday , June 24, 2018 - 5:15 AM
BRIGHAM CITY — Growing up, Taleas Marble played softball at Box Elder High and played on competitive travel teams in the summer with players from Bear River High.
She would always remember having to hear it from her Bear River teammates on the travel team, about how they had state titles and Marble didn’t.
The Bears were right in the middle of a dominant phase where hardly anyone in the state could beat them. The Bees, meanwhile, were in a drought.
Marble finally has hers.
That came when Box Elder beat Bountiful twice on May 24 to win the 5A state championship. Her assistant coaches had all won championships, but none of the players had.
In her third year as head coach of the Bees, Marble, this year’s Standard-Examiner All-Area Softball Coach of the Year, took the team to its seventh state title in school history and first since 2006.
A sage piece of advice played a part.
“The best advice I ever got was from Utah State’s old head football coach, he said don’t be afraid to have assistants that know more than you do ... so I went out and got four of them,” Marble said.
“Far and away,” she said when asked if her assistant coaches did indeed know more than her.
Box Elder touted arguably the best one-two pitching duo in the state with Brylee Marziale and Nyah DeRyke, both of whom also batted north of .390 at the plate.
Mallory Merrill and Maycen O’Neal were nicknamed the bash sisters because, Marble says, they seemingly hit extra-base hits back-to-back every time they came to the plate.
Marble and the rest of the coaching staff stressed team cohesiveness, which took awhile for the Bees to achieve, she said.
“There’s nine girls on a team and if you watch LeBron James in the championship series right there, one guy can’t do it all, even if you’re LeBron James,” she said.
When they did, the result was the state tournament, where their lone loss was by one run against Bountiful in the semifinals. It was the fourth time the Braves beat the Bees this season, ending a six-year streak of region titles by Box Elder.
It turns out that fourth loss was just the beginning. Box Elder beat West, a defending state champion, the next morning to get to the championship series against the Braves where they won both times to take home the trophy.
“Seeing the girls come together and play like that was probably better than beating anybody,” Marble said. “It didn’t matter who we were playing, I was so proud of them and what they accomplished.”
That annual region championship trophy didn’t come this year, but nobody’s complaining.
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