Gray takes over Evart softball program
EVART — New coaches are taking over the helm of the Evart softball program this season, led by new head skipper Tracy Gray.
This is the third week of practice and the Wildcats were scheduled to play last week against Harrison and this past Tuesday at home with Reed City. But both twinbills were canceled because of weather. With spring break set for next week, the season won't start until next month.
Gray is assisted by former Evart athlete Courtney Hooker. Larry Brown is serving as junior varsity coach.
The numbers are up for Evart softball. There are 11 players on the varsity and 11 on the JVs.
Key players for Evart include junior outfielder and third baseman Kendra Foster, plus senior second baseman and outfielder Nicole Bullock, senior first baseman Katelyn Whitman, junior outfielder Lacey Wade and sophomore pitcher Sam Bressler.
“She was our backup pitcher last year,” said Gray, indicating that Bressler is set to take over at No. 1 this spring.
Juniors Taylor Martin and Sabrina McKay also hope to be key players as infielders.
“We'll be working on fundamentals,” Gray said. “We're young.”
Gray was the assistant coach last year for Josh Johnson, who has taken the junior varsity baseball coaching post.
“We hope to get some numbers, you hope for that,” Gray said. “We didn't have JVs last year.”
Whitman, as a senior, hopes to lead the way for the other Wildcats in having a productive season in the Highland Conference. She gained valuable experience during the 2012 season.
“It was a lot of fun, I had a great time playing,” she said. “I almost had a home run. For my first year, I thought I did pretty good.”
Gray is still contemplating positions for her players.
“I think I'll be playing first base,” Whitman said. “That's where I was last year. I like it there. You're always in the play. My strength is making sure the ball doesn't get by me. I'm working on getting better on my throwing and hitting.”
Whitman and the Wildcats hope to have a good hitting team.
“You have to keep your eye on the ball,” Whitman said. “We have some new girls. It's a young team. It will take awhile so that they get used to playing.”