Varsity Softball Coach: A New Face That Isn’t Actually New

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By Kaitlyn Fletcher

On September 6, 2017 there was a softball interest meeting after school. The meeting was a typical interest meeting where conditioning dates were given, emails were exchanged, and players got to reminisce on last year’s season. Despite the fact that this was a typical interest meeting, there was a new face. However, this face was not so new to returning players of our school itself.

Coach Bowles, who was the former JV head coach for two years, will now be the head varsity coach. Even before coaching the JV team, Coach Bowles wasn’t actually new. She played on the varsity softball team and was a 2012 graduate. After high school she continued to play softball in college for a club team at West Virginia University. When asked why she choose to come back and coach softball here, Bowles said, “I really enjoyed my time at Tuscarora when I was there. Although it was only two years I had a blast and really enjoyed being able to create traditions and start clubs and such. So I thought what better way to give back then to go back to the place that I really enjoyed being apart of.”

Last season, the softball team had a winning record, advancing to the playoffs and earning the second seed in their conference. With such a dominating team, it’s no surprise that these ladies season was extended as they fought for a spot in Regionals. Unfortunately, they came up a bit short against two time State Champions Atlee High School. Senior 3rd basemen, Alex Branick said her personal goals for the 2018 season are to, “Beat Stonebridge, since they are our softball rival, and make it to Regional finals this time around.” Coach Bowles added that her goal for the upcoming season, like most quality programs, “Is to excel in our season and make it to the state tournament. We also hope to build on what has already been a successful program. Most importantly, we want to continue to teach girls important life skills, such as determination, integrity, and responsibility, that they can use off the field.”

Having a new coach can be challenging for some players, especially for those returning who were previously coached by Coach Smith, but this team has no concerns. Junior shortstop, Rosi Santos said, “As a team, having a new coach won’t affect us in a bad way at all because the new coach [Coach Bowles] was the JV coach last year so both the team and coach are already familiar with each other and each of our playing styles.” Branick added that she is “Looking forward to learning her coaching style and seeing what she will bring to the table.”

With a decent combination of experience and talent, this upcoming season should be one to look forward to. For all of the girls interested in trying out for softball, whether you have or haven’t played softball before, Coach Bowles has this to say, “I would say go for it! Sports are a great way to meet new people as well as live an active lifestyle. I personally thank softball for a lot of the lessons I have learned in life so therefore I think softball is the best, but I am a little bias. And even if sports are not really a person’s thing, but they still want to be involved with the school, we are always looking for managers! As for trying out, all we ask is that you are willing to learn and that you give it your absolute all everyday.”

With that said, whether you want to try out for softball or be a manager, come out to some conditioning sessions and get to know the coaches and some of the players! Conditioning sessions are currently being held every Monday and Wednesday from 4:30 to 5:30 after school. For more information about softball and upcoming softball events, go to @tuskysoftball on Twitter or contact Coach Bowles ([email protected])