Lakewood Ranch goes green in hopes of winning it all this season

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Falling in the regional final and state semifinals the past two seasons, the Lakewood Ranch softball team hardly needs extra motivation. 

But then, on his way to practice one day, head coach T.J. Goelz, said a light went on in his head. 

"I looked up and I'm like, 'That makes sense. We could use a traffic light to symbolize that," he said. 

He's talking about this year's motto for the Mustangs: Play green.

"When we're on offense it's on green," explained Claire Davidson, a junior pitcher on the team. "It's just about being aggressive in the box, on the bases, and just playing without hesitation. We turn it to red when we come on defense because it signifies stopping the other team's offense."

So every home game, on the floor of Lakewood Ranch's dugout sits the team's secret weapon: A traffic light.

"I think the message works," said junior first baseman and outfielder, Avery Goelz. "I think it's pretty cool, you see the light on green. After you score, you'll come in, the light's still on green. It's pretty cool to see." 

Since the stoplight got a roster spot, the Mustangs haven't lost a single game. 

"Even if we're down by some, we always come back, and we all believe in each other," said Maddie Koczersut, a senior third-baseman and outfielder.

With a perfect record and a number one ranking in the country, Lakewood Ranch still has plenty to play for, including the program's first state softball championship. That said, there's no stopping this stoplight. 

"It'll be going with us, hopefully, if we do what we're supposed to do and we do some traveling like we plan on it, that traffic light will be going with us," said T.J. Goelz. 

They wear green, they play green, and now they see green.